Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) purchased Connecticut-based Citizens Communications’ Kauai Electric in November of 2002.
KIUC is America’s newest electric cooperative, but it’s by no means the only one. It is one of approximately 900 electric cooperatives serving electric consumers in 47 states. Like all cooperatives, KIUC operates as a not-for-profit organization that is owned and controlled by the people it serves.
KIUC’s location presents some unique challenges that make it different from its sister cooperatives on the mainland. While most co-ops purchase electricity from large coal-fired power plants and huge hydroelectric power stations that can be hundreds of miles away, KIUC must generate all of its power on the island of Kauai. These smaller generating plants are powered by imported fossil fuels – which is less efficient and more expensive than mainland power sources.
In an effort to reduce its power cost, decrease it use of imported fossil fuels and increase the amount of energy generated from Kaua`i’s own resources, KIUC has launched a strategic initiative to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2023.
KIUC BY THE NUMBERS
- 32,700 – Number of meters (electric accounts) served by KIUC.
- 23,300 – Number of active member-owners
- 562– Number of square miles in KIUC’s service area
- 1,400 – Miles of 57.1kV transmission and 12.47kV distribution lines owned and maintained by the co-op
- 160– Employees delivering safe and reliable electricity to the citizens of Kaua`i
- 92– Percent of KIUC’s electricity that currently comes from the burning imported fossil fuels
- 50– Percent of electricity KIUC is committed to generating from renewable resources by 2023
- $16,699,151 – Amount of money returned to members as patronage capital refunds since the co-op was established
- 125– Total generating capacity (in megawatts) of KIUC’s existing power plants