KIUC inks energy pact

LIHUE — A Kauai renewable energy project combining solar and pumped storage hydro technology has moved one step further toward completion with the execution of a contract for design, engineering and construction on the facility.

A Kauai Island Utility Cooperative project that’s been in the works since 2014, the West Kauai Energy Project will utilize solar photovoltaic (PV) energy and pumped storage hydro technology to provide dispatchable renewable energy, and is expected to provide up to 15 percent of Kauai’s energy needs.

McMillen Jacobs Associates was contracted for design, engineering and construction following a Request for Proposal (RFP) process that began in November 2017.

“This is a substantial investment for our cooperative, and we have great confidence that McMillen Jacobs can deliver the range of services needed for engineering, design and construction,” said KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell.

The first phase of the contract will involve finalizing project design. Environmental studies are currently in progress and a draft environmental disclosure document is anticipated to be ready for public release in early 2019.

“If all goes well, we expect to have 60 percent engineering complete by mid-2019,” Bissell said. “Barring any significant delays, this project will allow us to meet the KIUC Board of Directors’ strategic goal of reaching 70 percent renewable well ahead of the target date of 2030.”

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