KIUC is making significant progress toward its goal of using renewable resources to generate 70 percent of Kauai’s power by 2030.
In 2019, more than 56 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. For 2020, that figure is expected to exceed 60 percent. The resulting increase in renewables allowed KIUC to reduce its use of fossil fuels by nearly 20 million gallons annually.
On most days, 90 percent or more of Kauai’s daytime energy needs are met by renewable sources. KIUC is now routinely running on 100 percent renewables for five hours or more on sunny days. KIUC’s solar resources currently consist of 64 megawatts of utility scale photovoltaic (PV) and 32.2 megawatts of distributed (rooftop) 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 2019 alone, KIUC achieved a savings of $3.8 million from its utility-scale solar and battery resources versus the average cost of diesel.
KIUC unveiled the world’s first utility-scale solar plus battery storage generation facilityi n March 2017. The 13 megawatt Tesla solar field, which is coupled with a 52 megawatt hour 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 early 2019, KIUC and partner AES Distributed Energy opened the island's second solar plus battery storage facility in Lawai: 20 megawatts of PV coupled with 5 hours of battery storage will move roughly 100 megawatt hours of solar energy to the evening peak. Forty percent of Kauai's evening peak load can now be met with dispatchable solar.
KIUC was recognized by the Smart Electric Power Association in 2018 and 2019 as the top utility in the nation for energy storage watts per customer – topping the next largest by nearly 8 times the storage capacity. In 2019 KIUC was also recognized by SEPA as second in the nation for annual megawatts of energy storage capacity: behind Southern California Edison.
In addition to solar, KIUC’s renewable portfolio includes more than 16 megawatts of hydro power, and 7 megawatts of biomass.
Learn more about KIUC's renewable progress here.
Learn more about the Green Energy Team biomass plant here.