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Hawaii geothermal plant will need state approval to rebuild

POHOIKI, Hawaii (AP) — A Hawaii geothermal power company must win state approval before rebuilding transmission lines wiped out by volcanic eruption. News outlets reported Wednesday that Puna Geothermal Venture must hold a public hearing and receive state Public Utilities Commission permission before rebuilding.

The plant in Pohoiki on the Big Island was damaged in last year’s Kilauea eruption.

Puna Geothermal officials say they are in negotiations with Hawaii Electric Light Company for a new power purchase agreement that would set out terms and prices for electricity from the rebuilt plant.

A May 9 letter from the utilities commission says any new agreement will require its approval.

An official says the company intends to resume production by the end of this year but is reviewing the letter to determine how it might affect plans.