KIUC Meeting in Hanapepe

SOURCE: Jonathan Jay ( SUBHEAD: KIUC board will meet with the members and the public on October 25th. [Editor's note: Ginger Carlson notified us that there is also a meeting next Wednesday, October 26th. Details are that KIUC will be having two informational meetings on Smart Meters and invite the public to attend. Smart Grid Informational Meetings will be held on October 26, 2011 and December 8, 2011 at KIUC’s Main Conference Room (Lihue) from 6pm-7pm. If you are unable to be present, this event will be blogged live from KIUC’s renewable website at For information on KIUC go to] By Jonathan Jay on 18 October for Island Breath - ( Image above: Graphic for Power to the People From ( WHAT: KIUC Board of Directors Meeting WHERE: Hanapepe Library Conference Room Kaumualii Highway Hanapepe, Kauai WHEN: Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 at 1:30pm The KIUC Board of Directors will have regular meetings open to the public at 1:30 p.m. Please check back for any changes at ( Some recent KIUC News... The Good Building Kauai’s Largest PV Project By Anne Barnes on 5 October 2011 for KIUC - ( Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) is pursuing the development of an approximately 10 megawatt photovoltaic (PV) project. Upon completion the project will be the largest PV facility in Hawai‘i and the largest on the island of Kaua‘i by almost two times. The cooperative will immediately begin efforts to obtain approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to reallocate up to $68 million of previously approved loan funds to construct an integrated PV and Battery Energy Storage System project on Kaua‘i. The funds were originally approved for a 10 megawatt combustion turbine generator often referred to as “Gen X” or “CT2.” To qualify for federal tax incentives under the Stimulus Bill and Hawai‘i state tax incentives, KIUC’s board of directors last week approved the formation of a new for-profit subsidiary, KIUC Renewable Solutions One, LLC. The for-profit subsidiary is necessary because KIUC as a tax-exempt cooperative does not qualify for the federal or state incentives. KIUC expects that up to 50 percent of the cost of the PV portion of the facility will be paid for by the incentives. The subsidiary company will be 100 percent owned and controlled by the cooperative. “KIUC is following a model employed by other electric cooperatives, to use a subsidiary to qualify for tax incentives only available to for-profit companies. We will combine the tax credits, our own low cost financing, and the declining cost of solar photovoltaic systems to produce energy at significantly less than the cost of power generated from oil. The cost for a KIUC owned PV facility will also be lower than the recently signed Power Purchase Agreement contracts due to our lower overall cost of capital,” said KIUC president David Bissell. A majority of KIUC’s generation today still comes from fossil fuels, but the co-op has actively expanded its portfolio of renewable technologies. KIUC now has 17 megawatts of solar PV and biomass-fired generation projects under Power Purchase Agreements. Approximately 35 megawatts of low-impact hydropower projects are being studied, but KIUC has not determined whether additional clean, renewable hydropower can be feasibly developed on Kauai. A Request for Proposal to contractors to build the PV facility was released this week. “We are on a very short timeline to qualify for the federal incentives,” said Brad Rockwell, KIUC manager of production. “With this facility we would have about 20 megawatts of solar PV on our system, and that is why we are integrating the Battery Energy Storage System to handle that level of intermittent resource and still have excellent reliability,” he added. “KIUC would have more solar PV concentration than any utility in the U.S. if this project can be successfully developed,” added Bissell. “The benefits are significant,” said KIUC board chairman Phil Tacbian. “By using the RUS approved funds for solar development, the cooperative effectively shelves the combustion turbine plant and moves closer to giving our members the clean, renewable energy they have asked for.” The combustion turbine was originally hoped to be fueled by renewable bio-diesel, but that technology has not developed quickly enough to realistically use the RUS funds in the approved timeframe. A biomass-fired boiler at the Port Allen Generating Station was studied earlier this year, but its cost would appear to be less attractive than a solar PV facility according to KIUC’s engineering analysis. “With wind power not feasible due to endangered species concerns, combining solar PV with the Battery Energy Storage System moves us closer to the board’s strategic goal of 50 percent renewable by 2023. If we are able to develop additional low-impact, clean hydropower later this decade, we will get there ahead of schedule,” added Tacbian.
The Bad PUC approves KIUC Smart Grid Project By Anne Barnes on 4 October 2011 for KIUC - ( In its Decision and Order issued last week the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Hawai‘i approved Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative’s request to commit funds to participate in a national smart grid demonstration project, which will bring advanced meter technology to every household on Kaua‘i. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s national demonstration project is designed to assist rural utilities like KIUC, implement technologies that make the electricity grid more efficient and reliable. The total cost of the project is approximately $11.9 million, half of which will be funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). In the application, filed late in October of 2010, KIUC requested commission approval to commit approximately $6 million in funds to participate in The Smart Grid Project which the utility explained was part of a demonstration project “involving 27 electric cooperatives throughout the nation,” but the project also represents a key component of KIUC’s own long- term strategic plan. “We are a small island grid and upgrading our electrical grid with smart meters and related technology can make our system more efficient and help integrate new smart appliances, electric cars, and other new and evolving technologies over the coming years. New technology can ultimately result in our members saving money if we are able to better control our islands energy demand and be able to defer investing in baseload conventional generation,” said Mike Yamane, KIUC Chief of Operations and lead engineer on the project. KIUC will be replacing about 33,000 electric meters with smart meters, along with an enhanced communications infrastructure that will allow two-way communications between those meters and KIUC. According to the decision and order, the new infrastructure will allow KIUC to conduct remote meter readings, detect outages at the household level, as well as demonstrate the effectiveness of load control and demand response systems and allow the utility to evaluate alternate rate designs. KIUC management points to several benefits to utilizing smart meters, including improved meter accuracy; billing date flexibility; real-time energy consumption monitoring; faster outage restoration and the potential for energy efficiency. KIUC anticipates installation for the project to begin early in 2012. The five-year process will include an expected two years of installation of new meters at members’ homes and installing communications infrastructure to assess smart grid effectiveness, and three years for data gathering and analysis. Since November 2009, the co-op has been ramping up their community outreach for the project, including two inserts in September / October bills, a section at, several stories in the utility’s magazine, KIUC Currents, and a series of quarterly meetings this year. Two informal informational meetings are planned for the last quarter of 2011. One on October 26, 2011 and one on December 8, 2011 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in KIUC’s main conference room at the Hana Kukui building, 4463 Pahe‘e Street in Lhu‘e.
And the Ugly KIUC changes petition policy - too late By Anne Barnes on 13 October 2011 for KIUC - ( In a special meeting of the Board, KIUC Directors last week passed board policy 32. The purpose of the policy is to publish certain requirements and procedures to be used by active KIUC members to prepare and submit a member petition pursuant to Section 6 of Article II of the Seventh Revised and Restated KIUC Bylaws, or its successor. “In response to the first petition it appeared that it would be good to standardize the procedures for petitions and Policy 32 was developed to do this,” said Phil Tacbian, board chairman. Among other things the policy allows for the establishment of a petition committee with the right to speak for petitioners, and adopts forms to allow for an easier verification process. The policy is posted at for all future petitions. .

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