Gov. David Ige joined Kauai Island Utility Cooperative and representatives from Tesla Inc. at a blessing ceremony today for the first utility scale solar-plus-battery system on the island.
KIUC said it connected to the Palo Alto-Calif. company’s batteries to get the solar system online, as Kauai’s grid has maxed out on the amount of solar it can take.
The 13-megawatt solar system is located on 50 acres of Grove Farm property north of Lihue. The solar system is connected to Tesla Powerpacks, which store enough power to service 4,500 homes during peak night demand.
KIUC CEO Dave Bissell said Kauai’s grid has reached the maximum amount of PV it can take during the daytime; 97 percent of daytime energy use on the island is supplied by renewables.
“We had to keep investing in relatively cheap solar,” Bissell said. “We had to figure out a way to move it to nighttime.”
Tesla is contracted to sell the energy produced at the facility to KIUC for 13.9 cents a kilowatt-hour over the next 20 years.