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Kauai solar project to supply 5% of island’s power needs

A blessing and groundbreaking were held today for a $40 million utility-owned solar facility Kauai that is expected to provide about 5 percent of the island’s electricity needs when it is completed next year.

The 12-megawatt facility being built on 67 acres of former sugar cane land leased from Grove Farm Co. near Koloa will be the state’s largest PV system when it is finished, according to a news release from the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.

The project is being developed by a subsidiary of KIUC that will enable it to qualify for state and federal tax credits. KIUC is financing the project through the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp.

The net cost of electricity generated by the array will be between 10 cents and 13.5 cents a kilowatt hour, below the present cost of generating electricity from oil, which is about 23 cents per kilowatt hour, according to KIUC.

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