US PV installer SolarCity has been awarded a contract to build a 14MW PV facility on the Hawaiian island of Kauai after it was selected by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC).
The PV plant will be built on 67 acres of land owned by property management firm Grove Farm Company, near the town of Koloa. It will utilize 54,314 panels which, the company said, will help to generate enough power to meet around 6% of Kauai’s daily energy demand.
Furthermore, the PV system is also expected to reduce KIUC’s oil imports by more than 1 million barrels over its lifetime.
“This is a landmark project for SolarCity and the island of Kauai, which is expected to reduce its oil imports by more than 1 million barrels over its lifetime,” said Jon Yoshimura, Director of Government Affairs for SolarCity in Hawaii. “With its goal to generate 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2023, KIUC is setting an example for utilities across the nation.”
Once all necessary local and state regulatory approvals have been received, KIUC and SolarCity will begin constructing the plant, which is expected to commence in July 2013 and scheduled to come online in 2014.
The project represents one of three projects which SolarCity and KIUC are developing together. It will also bring KIUC one step closer to reaching its target of using renewable resources to generate 50% of its overall energy by 2023.
“This project shows our board’s commitment to putting KIUC’s renewable energy plan into action,” said David Bissell, president and CEO of KIUC. “Our portfolio approach toward the development of solar, biomass and hydropower is producing results. KIUC’s members want to see leadership in getting us off imported oil and this project is a significant step in accomplishing that goal.”