THE NATURAL ENERGY LABORATORY OF HAWAII AUTHORITY (NELHA) is a state agency that operates a unique and innovative ocean science and technology park in Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawaii. Strategically located at Keahole Point next to the Kona International Airport and adjacent to one of the steepest bathymetric offshore slopes in the Hawaiian Islands, NELHA offers an incredible combination of assets in one location.
NELHA’s assets include office and laboratory facilities, infrastructure, pristine natural resources, and leasable open land for use by tenant research, education, and commercial projects. A dual-temperature seawater system that is the only one of its kind in the world sets NELHA apart from all other technology parks and creates a prime setting for innovation and new industry development in this island coastal setting.
NELHA aims to attract tenants who can use the unique complement of natural and logistical resources to engage in successful, productive research, education, and commercial activities that support sustainable industry development in Hawaii. Numerous innovative research projects have been completed at NELHA in the past and spawned new commercial enterprises that are established and successful businesses today. A public charter school was created at NELHA to take advantage of the many resources of this growing ocean science and technology community. A new federally funded facility, the NELHA Gateway project, will provide a setting for leading edge research and development in distributed energy resources and renewable energy technologies, and a new commercial Ocean Center development that will provide opportunities for new ocean-related businesses.
Administratively attached to the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) NELHA is funded by allocations from the Hawaii State Legislature and revenues collected from its tenants for use of facilities and services. NELHA is a prime example of visionary public investments, initiated in 1974, that have yielded multiple returns for the benefit of all.