KIUC Anahola Solar Facility Breaks Ground

KIUC Anahola Solar Facility GroundbreakingANAHOLA  —   Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui delivered remarks at the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) Anahola Solar Facility blessing and groundbreaking.  The 12 megawatt array, will be the second largest in Hawaii (largest is at Koloa, Kauai – also owned by KIUC) and is part of KIUC’s strategic plan to use renewable resources to generate 50 percent of Kauai’s electricity by 2023.

 “This project will reduce KIUC’s consumption of oil by 1.7 million gallons a year, helping our state achieve its goal of energy efficiency.  What better place than our islands than to harness the sun to produce power for our residents,” said Tsutsui.

The project proposal includes construction of a 53-acre photovoltaic facility consisting of 59,000 ground mounted panel modules, a 5-acre service station, a utility substation to connect the facility to the grid and a 6 megawatt lithium-ion battery energy storage system.

Since 2011, KIUC, Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) and Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC) have been working together on the Anahola Solar project when it was first presented to community beneficiaries for their consideration.  Under terms of the 25year lease agreement, In addition to lease payments to DHHL, the contract between the agency and KIUC calls for ownership of the solar array to transfer to DHHL after 25 years. The agency could then negotiate an agreement to sell electricity to KIUC or could potentially convert the facility to a micro-grid that would provide power to beneficiaries in the Anahola region, depending on the technology available in the future.

KIUC is a member-owned cooperative serving 33,000 customers. Governed by a nine-member, elected board of directors, KIUC is one of 930 electric co-ops serving more than 36 million members in 47 states.

Scheduled to be in operation by early 2015.