A revised draft environmental assessment (DEA) in support of Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative’s West Kauaʻi Energy Project (WKEP) was published today by the State of Hawaiʻi Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC). The public will have 30 days from the date of publication to comment on the document.
“We’ve made extensive revisions to the document based on comments received when it was initially published a year ago,” stated KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell. “We hope members of the public and other interested parties will take the time to review the revised document and provide comments by the deadline of October 8.”
WKEP is an innovative pumped-storage hydro and irrigation project coupled with solar and battery storage, being undertaken by KIUC and its renewable energy partner, AES. In addition to providing up to 25% of Kauaʻi’s power supply and bringing KIUC to more than 80% renewable generation, the project will create economic development and agricultural opportunities for Native Hawaiians and the west side communities of Waimea and Kekaha by delivering irrigation water to lands owned by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Agribusiness Development Corporation.
The revised DEA includes cultural, archaeological, flora and fauna and socio-economic studies as well as a stream habitat assessment and hydrology analyses; all of which have been ongoing since 2018. “Environmental compliance is a critical step in the development process,” said Bissell. “We believe this document is comprehensive, and look forward to receiving public input.”
The document can be accessed on the OEQC website, https://health.hawaii.gov/oeqc/, in the latest edition of “The Environmental Notice.” The document may also be found on the project website, www.westkauaienergyproject.com, where it can be downloaded or viewed in searchable format, with links to appendices and an email form for submitting comments.