WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, announced today that the Kauai Island Utility Cooperation will receive a more than $60 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to build and upgrade more than 70 miles of power lines and support smart grid projects.
“KIUC is on track to be 50 percent renewable by 2023 and this funding will help them reach that goal,” said Schatz. “This loan will help KIUC continue the work it’s already doing to improve resiliency, stay energy independent, and keep Kauai clean and green.”
“Today’s award recognizes Hawaii’s continued leadership in renewable energy,” Hirono said. “This competitive funding will allow Kauai Island Utility Cooperative to invest in needed infrastructure upgrades and technologies that will improve Kaua‘i’s power grid and help our state reach its 100 percent renewable electricity goal.”
“KIUC is driving Hawaii forward toward our 100 percent renewable energy goal, already generating more than 40 percent of Kauai’s total electricity from renewable sources,” Gabbard said. “This loan provides funds that will further this progress by investing in smartgrid technology, building new lines and improving existing lines, and helping the Garden Isle better manage and optimize its power grid.”
KIUC serves 33,000 electric accounts on the island of Kauai.
These loans are being awarded through USDA Rural Development’s Electric Program which helps finance electric projects and utilities that serve customers in rural areas through direct loans, grants, and loan guarantees.