Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority
Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority information
That funny-looking building with the gigantic solar panels on Queen Ka'ahumanu Hwy is Nelha's visitors center and crown jewel: the Hawaii Gateway Energy Center . This 'zero-net energy facility' was voted one of the 10 greenest buildings in the country by the American Institute of Architects in 2007. Learn about OTEC and other research and technologies at Nelha's public lectures . Reservations required. The Abalone Farm Tour & Tasting follows the lecture on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; the Solar Thermal Plant Tour follows the lecture on Tuesday.
Almost 40 businesses call this 'ocean science and technology park' home, including Kona Blue , the aquaculture gurus responsible for the Kona Kampachi (a type of yellowfin tuna) you see on menus from the Four Seasons to Merriman's, and Kona Deep , 100% Hawaii Deep Sea Water desalinated and bottled here. At $5 a liter, that has to be super ʻono drinking water. Curiously, this water is one of the state's leading exports. Also here is Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm , the only one of its kind in the country.
The turnoff is 1 mile south of Kona International Airport, between the 94- and 95-mile markers.