The Hawaiian ‘garden island’ of Kauai managed to hit 32 hours of 100% renewable energy over the last month.
With a population of 70,000, Kauai hosts a mixed renewable energy portfolio. The island mixes both distributed and utility-scale solar panels, a state of the art biomass plant and a number of relatively small hydro generation facilities.
This grid is able to support around 100,000 people. Alongside its fixed population, the Island around one million tourists visit the island each year.
Power is managed by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s (KIUC) – its CEO David Bissell explained that the aim was to “to provide the cleanest electricity possible, but we have to be mindful that our primary obligation is to provide safe, reliable power to our members at all times. Our operations personnel needed ample time to put all the necessary pieces into place before pushing the envelope to 100% renewable. Now we’re doing it routinely”.
December 10th saw the island run for five hours exclusively on renewables with 32 cumulative hours of renewable power since November 22nd.
This means the island joins the exclusive list of areas that have achieved extended periods of 100% renewable generation. It is also only the second American province to achieve this feat.