Kaua'i utility to build $40mn solar project

Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative of Hawaii says it will build a $40 million solar facility that will generate 12 MW, about 6 percent of Kaua’i’s daily energy needs.

The solar photovoltaic project will be built on 67 acres KIUC is leasing from Līhu`e-based Grove Farm Co. Inc. near Koloa. KIUC has hired SolarCity to build the system.

The project will be the third utility-scale solar facility under construction or in development on Kaua’i. It will also be one of the largest in Hawaii.

Assuming county and state regulatory approvals are received, construction is expected to begin by July 2013, with the project operational by the end of 2014.

The project is expected to create about 125 construction jobs.

A 1.5 MW battery storage system is already in use at the substation and a second battery storage unit will be added.

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