Hawaii’s largest solar project to date is now online.
The 12-MW Anahola solar facility features 59,000 panels and during daylight hours will generate about 20 percent of the electricity used on the island of Kauai.
"Anahola is an important milestone toward our goal of using renewables to meet 50 percent of Kauaʻi’s energy needs by 2023,” said Jan TenBruggencate, chairman of the cooperative’s board of directors. “Using the sun to make electricity has multiple benefits. It reduces our members’ costs, stabilizes our rates, keeps dollars in the local economy and contributes to efforts to slow climate change."
The facility is expected to eliminate 1.7 million gallons of oil imported annually for power generation.
The $54 million Kauai Island Utility Cooperative project – the cooperative’s second utility-scale solar project – was built by REC Solar on a 60-acre plot of land that’s being leased for 25 years from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
The Anahola project also includes a 6-MW Saft lithium ion energy storage system to maintain grid stability and provide backup power when clouds interfere with the arrays.
KIUC’s first utility-scale project, in service since 2014, is a 12-MW array in Kola on the South Shore.