Members of the public are encouraged to participate in an informational virtual community meeting to learn about the West Kauaʻi Energy Project; an innovative pumped-storage hydro and irrigation project coupled with solar and battery storage being undertaken by KIUC and its renewable energy partner, AES.
The meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 31 starting at 6:00 pm via Zoom. Attendees can register to participate at www.westkauaienergyproject.com.
The focus of the virtual meeting will be an overview of the project and the environmental review process, including studies that will be submitted as a draft environmental assessment to the Department of Land and Natural Resources later this spring. KIUC’s consultant, SSFM, will facilitate the event, during which public questions and input will be taken prior to the draft environmental assessment publication and public comment period. The community will also have the opportunity to comment on the project via the website listed above.
“WKEP will be a ‘legacy’ generation facility: expected to serve Kauaʻi’s energy needs for 100 years or more while stabilizing rates over time,” said KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell. “The unique topography of the area coupled with the existing plantation ditch and reservoir infrastructure offer the opportunity to create a renewable energy generation project that is unique in the world.”
In addition to providing up to 25% of Kauai’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 Homelands and the Agribusiness Development Corporation.
“The benefits of this project to KIUC and the community at-large are tremendous, and we hope our members will take the time to participate in the virtual meeting and visit the project website once it goes live on March 31,” said Bissell.
For individuals unable to participate in the meeting, a recording will be shown on Hōʻike Community Television and will be available on the project website.