Hawaii utility co-op five years ahead of schedule on renewables goal

L-R: Board member Allan Smith, Board member David Iha, Board member Patrick Gegen, Board Chair Jan TenBruggencate, President and CEO David Bissell, Board member Teofilo “Phil” Tacbian, Mayor Carvalho, Strategic Planning Committee Chair Dee Crowell, Board member Peter Yukimura, Board member Calvin Murashige

The Kaua`i Island Utility Cooperative Board of Directors set a goal of 70% renewable energy by 2030 in a new strategic plan. The target is part of an update to KIUC’s Strategic Plan 2008-2023, which set an initial goal of reaching 50% renewable by 2023. KIUC expects to reach that goal in 2018—five years early.

“We are fully confident, given KIUC’s track record of developing new renewable sources over the past six years, that we can meet this goal – perhaps even ahead of schedule,” stated KIUC’s Board Chairman, Jan TenBruggencate.

“With the anticipation of the Solar City/Tesla solar-plus-battery facility coming on line within a few weeks, we will have already achieved roughly 44% renewable generation,” stated KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell. “This is truly remarkable when you consider that as recently as 2011 we were 92 percent dependent on fossil fuel generation.”

“The KIUC Board is to be commended for setting an aggressive target and leading the state in progress on our collective goal of reaching 100% renewable by 2045,” stated Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr., who attended the meeting. “As member-owners of our cooperative we can all be proud of these accomplishments.”

Aside from the renewable energy target, the Strategic Plan 2016-2030 also includes the following goals:
-Hold controllable cost increases at or below the actual level of inflation, and maintain system reliability at 99.96% or better availability.
-Establish a rate structure that is fair between classes of members, encourages usage during lowest cost periods, and increases financial stability through greater recovery of cost through fixed charges rather than reliance on volume of electricity consumed.
-Continue to address the strategic implications of climate change, including reducing the utility’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the direct and indirect impacts locally and developing mitigation measures to protect the cooperative’s assets.
-Obtain long-term incidental federal and state permits that set requirements for conservation of endangered bird species.
-Continue investing in technology to cost-effectively maintain or improve our member service offerings and utility operations, including our smart-grid, in order to continue our transformation towards a 100% renewable future and lower operating costs.

“We would like to thank members of the public who participated in our Strategic Plan informational meetings last fall, and provided comments and suggestions on the draft plan that was presented,” said the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee Chair Dee Crowell. “I would also like to acknowledge the valuable contributions of former committee chair Dennis Esaki in creating the initial draft and setting the groundwork for such a solid and forward-thinking plan.”

The full plan can be accessed via the KIUC website.

News item form KIUC

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