Renewable Energy

Hawaii Co-op Wins Top Solar Honor

By Todd H. Cunningham | ECT Staff Writer Published: February 8th, 2012

Hawaii’s Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, which is expanding its commitment to solar energy by launching the largest solar project in the Aloha State, has been named Solar Utility of the Year by a national organization.

The expansion of KIUC’s solar PV capacity has helped earn the Hawaii co-op national recognition. (Photo By: Shelley Paik)

The expansion of KIUC’s solar PV capacity has helped earn the Hawaii co-op national recognition. (Photo By: Shelley Paik)

When the 12-megawatt photovoltaic farm is completed, “KIUC anticipates having more PV concentration than any utility in the U.S.,” Solar Power Generation USA noted in announcing the award. It was presented at a Las Vegas conference in early February.

“We are pleased the industry recognizes our significant accomplishments in renewable generation development as we progress towards meeting our goal of becoming 50 percent renewable by 2023,” said David Bissell, the co-op’s president and CEO.

KIUC’s latest solar project is located on Hawaiian Homelands in Anahola, on the northeast side of Kauai, and is a partnership with the Homestead Community Development Corp. In addition to the PV facility, it includes a battery energy storage system, which will facilitate greater system stability by maintaining a predictable flow of power from the solar facility and other intermittent resources.

Completion of the project will bring KIUC’s solar capacity to nearly 20 MW. This will move the co-op “closer to giving our members the clean, renewable energy they have asked for,” said Phil Tacbian, KIUC board chairman.

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