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Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) has announced that it will build a $40 million solar facility that will generate 12 MW of power, about 6% of Kauai's daily energy needs.

KIUC has hired developer SolarCity to construct the solar photovoltaic array. The project will be the third utility-scale solar facility under construction or in development on Kauai.

"This is a huge step toward achieving our goal of using renewable resources to generate at least half of our power needs by 2023," says Teofilo Tacbian, chairman of the board of directors of KIUC.

The project site is adjacent to KIUC's existing Koloa substation, which the cooperative says will help reduce interconnection costs. KIUC notes that it utilizes a 1.5 MW battery storage system at the substation, and a second battery storage unit will be added.

Assuming county and state regulatory approvals are received, construction is expected to begin by July 2013, with the project operational by the end of 2014.



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