Big Solar Power Plant for Kauai

Each year the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative spends tens of millions of dollars for oil to power generators that make electricity for the approximately 60,000 residents and many tourists. When oil prices increase they have no option but to pay even more. Generating their electricity from clean renewable sources makes much sense financially and environmentally.

In January, a 12 megawatt solar project was announced for the island. The project is a joint venture between the island’s utility co-op and Homestead Community Development Corporation. The contract was awarded to REC Solar. Their CEO said, “This coalition demonstrates the innovative spirit and concern for the environment that has made Hawaii home to the nation’s second highest installed solar capacity per capita, and we are excited to move this project forward. Solar is a bankable, proven way to grow KIUC’s renewable generation portfolio and meet the energy needs of Hawaii.” (Source: Solar International)

One megawatt is enough to power about 500 – 1,000 homes, depending on demand, so the twelve megawatt project could power about 8,000 homes. If the average home has 3 persons, 12 MW could provide power to about 24,000 people, which is more than one third of the island’s permanent population. When the new solar plant is operational, it will reduce imported oil consumption by almost 12,000 barrels per year. Over its twenty year life, it will prevent the emissions of 567,000,000 pounds of NOx, SOx, and CO2.

The utility coop wants to have fifty percent of the island’s energy from renewable sources by 2023. Tourism is a huge part of the local economy, so preserving the beautiful natural habitats is of paramount importance. In 2007, over one million people visited Kauai.

Image Credit: Caracas1830 / Wiki Commons

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Alice D.
Alice C6 years ago

Japan opens solar energy parks
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) July 1, 2012

Japan opened several solar energy parks on Sunday as a new law came into force requiring companies to purchase renewable energy at a fixed price in a push for alternatives to nuclear power.

The openings come on the same day engineers began refiring an atomic reactor, despite growing public protests in the aftermath of meltdowns at Fukushima, ending nearly two months in which Japan was nuclear-free.

A new solar centre opened in Kyoto in western Japan, while various municipalities also started up installations able to provide energy for hundreds of thousands of households.

Japanese telecommunications Softbank chief Masayoshi Son, opposed to nuclear energy since a powerful earthquake and tsunami last year that crippled reactor cooling systems, said it had plans for 11 solar or windpower centres in Japan.

The push to invest in renewable energy resources is a mark of Japan's search for alternatives to nuclear power, as 49 reactors out of 50 in the country have been shut down for safety checks and amid growing public protests.

The new law that took effect on Sunday requiring power companies to purchase all renewable energy at a fixed tariff is aimed at encouraging firms to pursue sustainable initiatives.

The government estimates the power provided by renewable energy this year in Japan will attain 2,500 megawatts, the equivalent of two medium-sized nuclear reactors.

Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Janine Kaczynski
janine Kaczynski7 years ago

There's nothing difficult about it's the demons involved in keeping bad things going that's the trick.

Hartson Doak
Hartson Doak7 years ago

I use to live on Kauai. We were paying the highest electric rates in the entire US. The Utility was screwing us. The Island formed a rural cooperative and bought the utility. This move to build a huge solar power plant is a great idea.

Dave C.
David C7 years ago

makes sense....especially in sunny locales....

Marianna B M.
Marianna Molnar7 years ago


Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers7 years ago

Good news !

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton7 years ago

Good for them.

Raluca Anghel
Raluca Anghel7 years ago

noted, thanks!

Danuta Watola
Danuta W7 years ago

Thanks for the article.