The board of directors of Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) and members of the Hawaiian Homes Commission have approved the terms of a 25-year lease of 60 acres for the construction of a 12 MW solar array in Anahola, Hawaii.
Construction is expected to begin this spring on the $54 million solar array, substation and battery energy storage system, which KIUC says will be the third large-scale solar project on the island of Kaua'i and one of the largest in Hawaii.
The array will consist of 59,000 panels and other equipment to be installed by REC Solar.
According to the company, the project – which is expected to be in operation by early 2015 – will generate electricity at a cost of about $0.125/ kWh. Five percent of Kaua'i's annual energy needs – or enough electricity for 4,000 homes – will be produced by the system. During the daylight hours, about 20% of the island's electricity will come from the project.
In addition to lease payments to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), the contract between the agency and KIUC calls for ownership of the solar array to transfer to DHHL after 25 years.
The project also includes a lithium-ion battery system capable of storing 6 MW of power that can be used when cloud cover reduces the output of the solar array, KIUC notes.