KIUC CEO attends unveiling of modernization initiatives

LIHU‘E — The Obama Administration announced on Tuesday a number of new initiatives designed to accelerate the modernization of the U.S. electric infrastructure, bolster electric-grid innovation and advance a clean energy economy.

“A Policy Framework for the 21st Century Grid: Enabling Our Secure Energy Future” report includes Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative as a case study for its battery energy storage system and for implementing demand response to support solar generation.

KIUC CEO David Bissell was invited to Washington for the unveiling of the Obama Administration’s grid modernization framework at the White House.

The KIUC case study says: “The island of Kaua‘i … has no interconnections with other power systems; therefore, all demand must be met with power generated on the island. Currently, more than 90 percent of KIUC’s electricity comes from diesel generators. To help meet its objective of generating 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2023, KIUC has planned to construct a 3-megawatt solar PV system.

“Because Kaua‘i lacks interconnections, KIUC faces unique challenges in matching supply and demand. Demand response programs, coupled with energy storage to support variable renewables, are critical to prevent grid disruptions as Kaua‘i moves closer to achieving its goal.

“To that end, Xtreme Power, a partner in several wind and solar integration projects on other Hawaiian islands, will provide a battery storage system capable of providing 1.5-megawatts of power flow and storing a total of 1 mwh of charge. This combined solar PV and energy storage system will help KIUC reduce diesel consumption by millions of gallons every year.”

 The 3-mw photovoltaic projects, such as the previously announced Po‘ipu Solar project, could save approximately 500,000 gallons of fuel per year, Bissell said in a KIUC press release. Once KIUC reaches its strategic planning goal of generating 50 percent of its power from renewable sources, it will save millions of gallons of oil per year.

KIUC previously announced that it was a recipient of a $5.5 million federal grant to aid in the implementation of Smart Grid technology.

The policy framework and footage of the event may be found at www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/pressroom/06132011.

• Vanessa Van Voorhis, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 251) or by emailing vvanvoorhis@thegardenisland.com.

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