Tuesday, January 23, 2001
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Posted on: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Wind may generate electricity on Kaua'i

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau

LIHUE, Kauai — People on Kauai could get part of their electricity from wind under a proposal being discussed by Kauai Electric Co. and a Idaho firm, Pacific Winds Inc.

While no site for a wind farm has been identified, the utility and the independent power producer, operating as Kauai Winds, have reached agreement on a rate scheme and power purchase plan.

The Kauai Wind Project is before the state Public Utilities Commission for approval of a contract between the firms.

It calls for Kauai Wind to develop a wind power plant of 5.4 megawatts capacity. Kauai Electric would agree to buy all the power produced by the facility for about 7.4 cents per kilowatt hour.

"We can’t guarantee that this will happen, because they don’t have a location yet," said utility spokeswoman Jennie Fujita.

The wind plant would be a comparatively small power production unit for Kauai Electric, producing less than 5 percent of the utility’s total installed firm power of 110 megawatts.

But it would be one of the largest of the island’s power sources not dependent on fossil fuels. The utility has 96 megawatts of oil-fired generating capacity, and can count on 14 megawatts from Lihue Plantation. The Lihue generator, built to burn sugar cane waste, has primarily burned oil since the closing of the sugar company.

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