REC Solar connects Hawaii’s largest solar project (5 percent of Kauai’s energy)

REC solarREC Solar announced the interconnection of a 12 MW AC solar array for Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC). The utility-scale system is the largest in the state of Hawaii and REC Solar’s largest project to date.

Located in Anahola, Kaua‘i, the 60-acre PV system will generate 20 percent of the island’s annual energy needs during the daylight hours. The installation is coupled with a six MW lithium-ion battery system designed to smooth the integration of solar power on the grid. By generating clean energy on the island, KIUC will decrease fossil fuel imports from the mainland and save nearly $250,000 a month on operating costs alone.

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A blessing and dedication ceremony will be held on Nov. 7, 2015, to celebrate the interconnection of the record-setting array to the grid. KIUC president and CEO David Bissell and REC Solar CEO Al Bucknam will participate in the ceremony, which will include public tours of the solar farm.

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“This project represents a huge step toward achieving our goal of using renewable resources to generate at least half of Kauai’s power needs by 2023,” Bissell said. “Every megawatt we can generate using the power of the sun reduces our costs and our greenhouse gas emissions.”

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KIUC used project capital from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service to finance the Anahola project. The array is the second system that REC Solar has developed on Kauai.

“Hawaii is at the forefront of the electric grid transformation and solar energy is in the driver’s seat,” said Al Bucknam, REC Solar CEO. “REC has invested in understanding Hawaii’s unique market because we know commercial and utility-scale solar is an integral part of Hawaii’s ambitious 100 percent renewables goal.”