Ahead of the curve in Renewable Energy

  • photo submitted by AES

    The AES Lawa‘i solar-plus-storage facility can provide up to 20 megawatts of direct-to-grid power during the day, along with five hours or 100 megawatt hours of electricity for use after sunset.

LIHU‘E – Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative announced on Earth Day that the entity has achieved 56% renewable energy production for 2019, well ahead of its own strategic goals and the State of Hawai‘i’s mandated renewable benchmarks. The information was filed with the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission this week in KIUC’s Renewable Portfolio Standard Annual Report.

“The AES Lawa‘i facility made a huge difference last year, helping to push us over the halfway mark to becoming 100% renewable,” said KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell.

The 56% renewable achievement puts Kaua‘i ahead of all other counties in renewable production and far exceeds state mandates that require 30% renewable by 2020 and 40% renewable by 2030.

KIUC has also exceeded its own strategic goal set in 2008 to reach 50% by 2023.

Kaua‘i’s power generation mix for 2019 included 35% solar, 11% hydro and 10% biomass. Rooftop solar from residential and commercial members accounted for more than one-third of the solar generation.

Renewable milestones continue in 2020 with KIUC routinely running the grid on 100% renewable energy during daytime hours. This year, the cooperative has logged 441 hours at 100% renewable energy: averaging five hours per day for a total of roughly 90 days since January 1.

KIUC’s renewable capabilities will be boosted when the AES Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) solar-plus-storage project, with 14 megawatts of solar coupled with five-hour duration storage, is on-line later this year.

“For the first time, KIUC is leading the state in renewable production,” said Bissell. “Our member-owners should take pride in this accomplishment, made possible by their collective commitment to moving aggressively forward on reducing our carbon footprint.”

2 Comments
  1. randy kansas April 23, 2020 3:46 am Reply

    with lower energy costs, how come our electric bills have not come down ??

    and, how much is all of this new solar and wood burning equipment going to cost us to maintain as it ages and starts to break down or become obsolete with new technology ?

    seems like going green is gonna require us to work more hours at our jobs to pay the cost……


    1. Michael Mann April 23, 2020 8:42 pm Reply

      You’ve done ZERO analysis here to make such a statement.

      Also, nowhere in the article was it stated that there were lower energy costs, much less ones that could be passed to the consumers as savings. So where did that statement come from?

      I don’t understand why people can’t get it through their heads that this is about more than lowering consumer costs. It’s about SUSTAINABILITY. The Hawaiians Island DO NOT want to be reliant on the outside world for energy. This pandemic should be good example of the potential problem…what if it got so bad that we could not get shipments of oil for refining? We don’t have oil here. What is it that you expect us to do in such a case? Why can people not see the bigger picture? Yes, it is more expensive to live here. You’ve made the choice to live here, and you need to accept that there are tradeoffs because of our isolation. You can pare down to control that. But it is absolutely necessary that we try ro make use of as much locally generated power as possible. We will be in a far better position should something happen.


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