KIUC Leads the State in Renewable Generation

Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) once again leads the state in renewable generation: achieving 60.2% renewable for 2022.

“We continue to seek new ways to maximize the use of renewables and are working toward a new goal, set by our Board of Directors in January, to reach 100% renewable by 2033,” stated KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell. He noted that the KIUC strategic goal accelerates the State of Hawaiʻi timeline of reaching 100% renewable by 2045 by more than a decade.

The 60.2% for 2022 was reported to the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in KIUC’s annual renewable portfolio standards (RPS) filing. The 2022 RPS figure was below the 69.5% reported in 2021. KIUC’s Chief of Operations Brad Rockwell explains the decrease: “KIUC generated virtually the same amount of renewable power in 2022 as it did in 2021, however the combination of an increase in electricity demand combined with a change in state law which requires a new formula to calculate RPS caused the percentage of renewables to decrease.”

The RPS formula was changed pursuant to Act 240, which was signed into law in July 2022. The RPS calculation previously reflected the renewable percentage of electricity sold. Under the new formula, RPS is calculated as a percentage of electricity generated.

Solar contributed 39.8% of KIUC’s generation in 2022. Approximately one-third of the solar production came from members’ rooftop systems. Other renewables contributing in 2022 were hydro (10.7%) and biomass (9.8%).

KIUC’s next large renewable project expected to come online is the West Kauaʻi Energy Project (WKEP). This innovative project pairs solar+storage with pumped storage hydro and is expected to meet roughly 25% of Kauaʻi’s energy needs. Once operational, WKEP will bring KIUC to more than 80% renewable.

“In addition to leading the state in renewables, we are proud to have recorded the lowest rates for all the islands for the past 12 months. Our high percentage of renewables has contributed significantly to the lowering and stabilization of our rates,” said CEO David Bissell.