A blessing performed by Kahu Wayne Vidinha took place this morning for Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative’s (KIUC) recently completed Anahola Service Center. The facility replaces the Kapa‘a Service Center after over 60 years of operations. The new facility serves as the hub of field operations for the island’s east side and north shore service area, and provides much needed garage, office and storage space.
“KIUC’s priority is to provide reliable electricity to all residents of Kaua‘i, and the Anahola Service Center will enable us to continue to improve the resiliency for the eastern and northern parts of Kaua’i. We greatly appreciate our continuing partnership with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the Anahola Hawaiian Homestead Association and the Homestead Community Development Corporation,” said KIUC’s Chief Executive Officer David Bissell.
Work on the site was completed by all Kaua‘i-based firms; designed by Kaua‘i architect Avery Youn, groundbreaking on the Center began in December 2020. The sitework was done by Cushnie Construction, Inc., and building construction was completed by Kalani Construction, Inc. The total cost of the project was approximately $8.5 million.
The Center was constructed on 4.5 acres of land leased from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL). The lot is included in General Lease No. 299, which also covers land which houses the Anahola Solar Farm and the adjacent Anahola Substation. DHHL and the Anahola Hawaiian Homestead Association (AHHA), which negotiated a community benefits agreement with KIUC when the project was initially proposed, were instrumental in the successful completion of the project.
DHHL Chair Kali Watson attended the blessing and said, “It’s a shining example where different organizations can come together and coordinate the development of something like this, which will benefit the community for generations. We thank KIUC for their willingness to do that on Hawaiian Home Lands.”
“We are truly blessed that we have this land to share,” said AHHA President KipuKai Kuali‘i. “We also have to say ‘mahalo nui loa’ to KIUC and its Board for working with us, for responding to us and seeing us, for recognizing us and being willing to work with the beneficiaries directly, not just the state department in Honolulu.”
The new Center will serve as a staging area for transmission and distribution operations and will also house KIUC’s distribution planning team. The expanded site will serve as a storm preparation area and equipment depot for hurricane season. Response times to outages on the north shore are expected to improve with the operational shift from Kapa‘a to Anahola.