LIHUE — The Solar Electric Power Association ranked Kauai Island Utility Cooperative higher than any other Hawaii utility in two key measures of utilities’ delivery of solar energy to customers.
KIUC was ranked No. 4 on the list of U.S. electric utilities that added the most new solar power to their systems on a watts-per-customer basis in 2014.
The cooperative was ranked No. 6 among all utilities for the cumulative installed watts per customer.
“We’re proud that a member-owned cooperative has been recognized so consistently as a leader in solar integration,” said David Bissell, president and CEO of KIUC, in a press release. “We make it easy for our members to install rooftop solar and we’re committed to building utility-scale solar projects to benefit everyone by bringing down the cost of electricity and reducing Kaua‘i’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.”
The annual ranking, based on a survey of 1,000 utilities nationwide, identifies the companies that are most quickly integrating solar into the nation’s power grid and is part of the eighth annual Utility Solar Market Snapshot issued by SEPA. KIUC has been listed in SEPA’s Top 10 for solar integration since the rankings began.
With the addition of about 500 customer-sited photovoltaic systems as well as its own 12-megawatt solar array in Koloa, KIUC added 503 watts of solar per customer on the grid last year. That’s equal to two solar panels per customer.
And with the growth of utility and customer-sited solar over the past four years, KIUC now has the equivalent of five solar panels per customer on its grid.
By the end of 2014, KIUC had nearly 37 megawatts of solar and about 2,400 customer-sited PV systems on its grid, more than any other utility cooperative in the U.S.
Hawaiian Electric Co. ranked seventh for new solar watts per customer, Maui Electric Co. ranked eighth and Hawaii Electric Light Co. ranked 10th.
Hawaiian Electric Co. ranked eighth in cumulative watts installed per customer.