Kauai Island Utility Cooperative was formed when a group of local businesspeople purchased Connecticut-based Citizens Communications’ Kauai Electric in November of 2002.
KIUC is America’s newest electric cooperative; one of approximately 900 electric cooperatives serving electric consumers in 48 states. KIUC operates as a not-for-profit organization that is owned by its members and governed by an elected board of directors.
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. As of 2010, 92 percent of KIUC's power came from generating plants that are powered by imported fossil fuels – which is less efficient and more expensive than mainland power sources available to most co-ops.
In an effort to reduce its power cost, decrease its use of imported fossil fuels and increase the amount of energy generated from Kauai’s own resources, KIUC has launched a strategic initiative to generate 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In 2019, 55% of KIUC's electricity is generated through renewable sources: biomass, hydropower and solar.
KIUC's Board of Directors has set an aggressive goal of reaching 70 percent renewable generation by 2030. KIUC is confident that it will meet, and perhaps exceed this goal, well before 2030.
KIUC BY THE NUMBERS
- 37,000 – Number of meters (electric accounts) served by KIUC.
- 29,000 – Number of residential member-owners
- 3,000 - Number of commercial 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
- 139 – Employees delivering safe and reliable electricity to the citizens of Kauai
- 55 – Percent of KIUC’s electricity that comes from renewable energy sources
- 70 – Percent of electricity KIUC is committed to generating from renewable resources by 2030
- $39 million – Amount of money returned to members as patronage capital retirements since the co-op was established
- 235.9 – Total generating capacity (in megawatts) of KIUC’s existing power plants and renewable resources
- 4,300 residential and commercial solar rooftop systems in service
- 99.96 percent system reliability each year from 2014-2016
- 90 percent or more renewable power utilized in daylight hours on most sunny days