KIUC is making significant progress toward its goal of using renewable resources to generate 70 percent of Kauai’s power by 2030.
By the end of 2017, more than 40 percent of the electricity generated on Kauai came from a mix of renewable resources: solar, hydropower and biomass. That’s up from 8 percent in 2010. The resulting increase in renewables allowed KIUC to reduce its use of fossil fuels by 33 percent, or more than 11 million gallons annually.
On the sunniest days, 90 percent or more of Kauai’s daytime energy needs are met by renewable sources, mostly solar. KIUC’s solar resources currently consist of 31 megawatts of utility scale photovoltaic and 20 megawatts of distributed photovoltaic. KIUC’s utility-scale solar fields contain battery components, which have helped to increase system reliability by 50 percent over the past 10 years.
In March 2017, KIUC unveiled the world’s first utility-scale solar plus battery storage generation facility. The 13 megawatt Tesla solar field, which is coupled with a 52 megawatt battery storage system, allows KIUC to store solar power during the day and dispatch it over a four-hour period during the evening peak demand.
In May 2018, KIUC was recognized by the Smart Electric Power Association as top utility in the nation for energy storage watts per customer – topping the next largest by nearly 8 times the storage capacity. KIUC was also recognized by SEPA as fifth in the nation for annual megawatts of energy storage.
In addition to its solar resources, KIUC’s renewable portfolio includes more than 10 megawatts of hydro power, and 7 megawatts of biomass.