Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative leads state in renewable generation at 60.2% in 2022
Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative once again leads the state in renewable generation: achieving 60.2% renewable for 2022, according to the utility’s press release.
The data was reported to the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission in Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative’s annual renewable portfolio standards filing. The 2022 figure was below the 69.5% reported in 2021.
The decrease in the percentage of renewable power was due to an increase in electricity demand and a change in state law requiring a new formula to calculate renewable portfolio standards, even though Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative generated virtually the same amount of renewable power in 2022 as it did in 2021, according to Brad Rockwell, chief of operations at Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative.
The renewable portfolio standards formula was changed pursuant to Act 240, which was signed into law in July 2022. The renewable portfolio standards calculation previously reflected the renewable percentage of electricity sold.
Under the new formula, renewable portfolio standards is calculated as a percentage of electricity generated.
Solar contributed 39.8% of Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative ’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%).
Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative’s next large renewable project expected to come online is the West Kauaʻi Energy Project. This innovative project pairs solar+storage with pumped storage hydro and is expected to meet roughly 25% of Kauaʻi’s energy needs.
Once operational, West Kauaʻi Energy Project will bring Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative to more than 80% renewable.
“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,” said David Bissell, West Kauaʻi Energy Project’s President and CEO.
Bissell said that the Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative strategic goal — by more than a decade —accelerates the State of Hawaiʻi timeline of reaching 100% renewable by 2045 by more than a decade.