Solar-plus-Storage Helps Kauai Beat Diesel Power Prices

A new solar-plus-storage project in Kauai, Hawaii, will provide power at 11 cents per kWh and help the island’s utility avoid the use of 3.7 million gallons of diesel annually.

The price “is well below the cost of diesel,” David Bissell, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) president and CEO, said in a statement.

Bloomberg reported last March that Tesla has a 20-year contract with KIUC to deliver electricity at 13.9 cents per kWh from a 13-MW solar park with 52 MWh of batteries. Bloomberg said at the time that the utility’s cost for power from diesel plants is 15.48 cents.

KIUC said that the project will provide 11 percent of Kauai’s electric generation and increase the utility’s electricity generated from renewable resources to 60 percent.

AES Corp. subsidiary AES Distributed Energy (AES-DE) will own and operate the project. AES-DE and KIUC last week held a ground-breaking ceremony for the Lawai solar and energy storage project. KIUC said that the system will be located on former sugar land between Lawai and Koloa and will be the largest utility-sale solar-plus-storage system in Hawaii.

The project includes 28-MW of solar PV and a 100-MWh, five-hour duration energy storage system, according to KIUC.

Lead image: Students from the Island School Hawaiian Studies program open a blessing ceremony for the Lawai solar and energy storage project. Credit: Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.

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Jennifer Delony, analyst for TransmissionHub, started her career as a B2B news editor in the local and long-distance telecommunications industries in the '90s. Jennifer began covering renewable energy issues at the local level in 2005 and covered U.S. and Canadian utility-scale wind energy as editor of North American Windpower magazine from 2006-2009. She also provides analysis for the oil and natural gas sectors as editor of Oilman Magazine.

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