REC Solar begins construction on a 12 MW solar array on Kaua’i Island, Hawaii. This is REC Solar’s largest project to date and will supply Kaua’i with 5% of its energy needs. This is another step in the right direction to lower electricity costs in Hawaii.
REC Solar today announced that it has begun construction on a 12 MW solar array for Hawaiian utility Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC). With 57,624 panels, the utility solar project will be one of Hawaii’s largest systems upon completion and REC Solar’s largest project to date.
The 60-acre solar PV system will be located in Anahola on the northeast side of the island of Kaua‘i. Upon completion in 2015, it will generate 5% of Kaua‘i’s annual energy needs.. A 6 MW lithium-ion battery system will be installed alongside the array to store energy when production outweighs demand. This is part of a rapidly growing trend to supply energy storage to commercial-scale systems.
With REC Solar focusing exclusively on commercial installations, they have positioned themselves perfectly to become a leading solar company in Hawaii. They currently have almost 20 MW of utility- and commercial-scale projects complete or under way. The Anahola system is the second project that REC Solar has developed with KIUC, following a 1.2 MW array in Kapa‘a.
Hawaii has made a commitment to integrate 40% of renewables into the electric grid by 2030. The island’s self-contained grid faces the highest electricity prices in the nation, and relies extensively on importing oil. The Hawaiian Public Utilities Commission is doing what it can to speed this transition away from oil. Their recent ruling has essentially called out the Hawaiian electric companies on their attempts to slow the growth of solar and is forcing them to make it easier to connect PV systems to the grid. As more systems like Anahola come online, Hawaiians can look forward to seeing their electric bills actually go down for a change.