KIUC: 70 percent renewable by 2030

LIHUE — The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative Board of Directors set a goal of 70 percent renewable energy by 2030 in a new strategic plan adopted yesterday.

“We are fully confident, given KIUC’s track record of developing new renewable sources over the past six years, that we can meet this goal — perhaps even ahead of schedule,” said KIUC’s Board Chairman, Jan TenBruggencate.

The target is part of an update to KIUC’s Strategic Plan 2008-2023, which set an initial goal of reaching 50 percent renewable by 2023. KIUC expects to reach that goal in 2018 — five years early.

“With the anticipation of the Solar City/Tesla solar-plus-battery facility coming on line within a few weeks, we will have already achieved roughly 44 percent renewable generation,” said David Bissell, KIUC’s president and chief executive officer. “This is truly remarkable when you, consider that as recently as 2011, we were 92 percent dependent on fossil fuel generation.”

Aside from the renewable energy target, the Strategic Plan 2016-2030 also includes the following goals:

w Hold controllable cost increases at or below the actual level of inflation, and maintain system reliability at 99.96 percent or better availability.

w Establish a rate structure that is fair between classes of members, encourages usage during lowest cost periods, and increases financial stability through greater recovery of cost through fixed charges rather than reliance on volume of electricity consumed.

w Continue to address the strategic implications of climate change, including reducing the utility’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the direct and indirect impacts locally and developing mitigation measures to protect the cooperative’s assets.

w Obtain long-term incidental federal and state permits that set requirements for conservation of endangered bird species.

w Continue investing in technology to effectively maintain costs or improve our member service offerings and utility operations, including our smart-grid, in order to continue our transformation towards a 100 percent renewable future and lower operating costs.

“The KIUC Board is to be commended for setting an aggressive target and leading the state in progress on our collective goal of reaching 100 percent renewable by 2045,” said Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr., who attended the meeting.

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