Maui Business

State’s Natural Energy Laboratory Gets New Executive Director

June 6, 2011, 3:48 PM HST
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Energy Center Buildings at NELHA. Photo courtesyof NELHA.

By Sonia Isotov

The Board of Directors of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) has appointed Gregory P. Barbour as the agency’s new Executive Director.  Barbour will assume responsibility for the management of the agency in mid-June.

The state’s largest technology park, with more than 870 acres of prime coastal property at Keahole Point, Kailua-Kona, NELHA is world-renowned as the only facility in the world that has the capacity to continually bring ashore nearly 50,000 gallons per minute of both warm surface and cold deep seawater.

The water is used for ocean research and technology development including alternative energy production, aquaculture, marine biotechnology, agriculture, and a range of research and development projects.

“We are excited about having Mr. Barbour as the executive director of one of our most successful and pioneering ventures,” said Richard C. Lim, Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, in a written statement released today. “We are confident Greg has both the vision and experience in business incubation to take NELHA into new technology-based ventures that will make Hawaii a world-class competitor in the future.”

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“NELHA is one of the only ‘green’ economic development parks in the world,” Barbour said in the statement as well.  “With water emerging as one of the world’s most precious resources, NELHA’s work is helping Hawaii to be more competitive.”

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Mr. Barbour’s professional career includes more than 27 years in state planning and management experience.  Most recently, he spent 7 years as the state’s Foreign Trade Zone administrator.

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