Alexander & Baldwin Inc. (A&B) and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) have recently announced the completion of Hawaii’s largest photovoltaic energy plant. The six-megawatt solar farm is located on Kauai’s sunny south shore, on a 20-acre parcel of land owned by A&B near KIUC’s Port Allen Station power plant. Electricity from the facility began flowing on Dec. 7.
Developed and operated by A&B subsidiary McBryde Sugar Co., the project is expected to generate approximately 10,200 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. KIUC and its members will be provided with renewable solar energy at a fixed rate for at least the next 20 years.
“The Port Allen Solar facility, along with our existing hydroelectric facilities at Wainiha and Kalaheo, will generate nearly 40,000 megawatt-hours of clean, renewable energy each year, making A&B the leading generator of renewable energy on Kauai,” commented Christopher Benjamin, president & COO of A&B, in a statement.
“Completion of this facility represents a significant step forward in KIUC’s portfolio approach to meeting our aggressive long-term renewable energy goals. By utilizing a portfolio of solar, hydroelectric and biomass fueled projects and a combination of both cooperative and independently owned facilities, we believe we will be able to meet at least half of Kauai’s power needs with renewable sources by 2023,” said David Bissell , president & CEO of KIUC.
Bissell also stated that the Port Allen facility is the first of three utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects that will come online on Kauai over the next two years.
“The A&B solar facility will supply almost 10 percent of KIUC’s daytime electrical load and annually produce about 3 percent of the total energy used on Kauai. By 2015, KIUC expects to draw 50 percent of its daytime electrical load from PV systems, the highest percentage of solar on any grid in the U.S.”
Headquartered in Lihue, KIUC is a not-for-profit generation, transmission and distribution cooperative owned and controlled by the members it serves. Currently, it comprises more than 32,000 electric accounts throughout the island.
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