KIUC unveils enegry project

LIHUE — Kauai Island Utility Cooperative and AES Distributed Energy, Inc. announced a power-purchase agreement for a plant that will provide solar energy with the benefits of battery-based energy storage that will be located on former sugar land between Lawai and Koloa.

It will be the largest solar-plus-utility-scale-battery system in Hawaii and one of the biggest battery systems in the world. The project consists of 28 megawatt solar photovoltaic and a 20 MW, five-hour duration, energy-storage system.

Energy from the project will provide 11 percent of Kauai’s electric generation, increasing KIUC’s renewable sourced generation to more than 50 percent.

“The project delivers power to the island’s electrical grid at significantly less than the current cost of oil-fired power and should help stabilize and even reduce electric rates to KIUC’s members,” said David Bissell, KIUC’s president and chief executive officer.

Bissell estimates the project will reduce KIUC’s fossil-fuel usage by more than 3.7 million gallons yearly.

The project is pending state and local regulatory approvals. If approved, KIUC expects the project to come on line by late 2018.

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