Sunday, February 11, 2001
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Posted on: Sunday, February 11, 2001

Amfac to supply Kaua'i Electric

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau

LIHUE, Kauai — Amfac’s power plant at its old Lihue Mill will keep providing Kauai Electric with electricity under an agreement approved by the state Public Utilities Commission.

Kauai Electric manager Denny Polosky said the island's supply relies on an old power plant.

Advertiser library photo • March 6, 2000

Amfac was obligated to give the utility three years’ notice if it intended to shut down the plant, but failed to do so. The plantation closed late last year.

Under the new agreement, the electric company will receive certain Amfac assets in return for not having received the proper notice.

In the meantime, the 25 Amfac employees who run the plant will keep it going through at least July 2002, when a new generating plant should be completed. The new plant, to be situated outside Lihue, will be owned by Kauai Power Partners, and the power sold to the utility.

"Without power from Lihue Plantation between now and when Kauai Power Partners’ unit is online, our island’s power reliability would be in jeopardy," said Kauai Electric manager Denny Polosky.

The plantation power plant, at 14 megawatts, is one of the largest on the utility’s system. Polosky said it is designed to burn sugar cane residue or bagasse, and although it can burn oil, it is not an efficient oil-burning power plant.

Polosky said that under the new agreement approved by the Public Utilities Commission, Kauai Electric expects to acquire two small plantation hydroelectric plants, a large power transformer and assorted other equipment.

The commission also approved an updated purchase-power agreement between the utility and Kauai Power Partners, and approved construction of a new 69-kilovolt transmission line from Lihue to the Kauai Power Partners plant.

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