REC Solar and KIUC recently held a kick-off meeting with Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC) in order to initiate the next steps of the 12MW solar project the companies will be installing on Hawaiian Homelands in Anahola on the northeast side of Kauai. REC Solar won the contract for the project in December, marking it as the second utility-scale project the company has developed for KIUC.
The cooperative received approval from the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service to redistribute US$68 million of previously approved loan funds, which were originally approved for a 10MW combustion turbine generator, to construct integrated PV and battery energy storage systems in Kauai. Part of the reallocated funds will go towards financing the 12MW solar project.
“The benefits are significant,” said Phil Tacbian, KIUC board chairman. “By using the RUS-approved funds for solar development, the cooperative effectively shelves the combustion turbine plant and moves closer to giving our members the clean, renewable energy they have asked for.”
Over the next few months, the Kauai solar project will soon undergo an environmental assessment, the assembly of a cultural assessment team with knowledge of the Anahola area in place and the organization of a job fair and employment outreach.