LIHUE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some 50 acres of land just north of Lihue are now home to a state of the art solar power plant running on Tesla technology.
Governor Ige and Mayor Carvalho were among the dignitaries who attended a blessing ceremony for the new facility Wednesday.
The plant relies on Tesla's battery storage technology. The batteries store electricity produced by solar arrays in the day, and feeds it into Kauai Island Utility Cooperative's grid at night, when demand is highest.
"By using solar energy stored in the battery after the sun goes down, we will reduce our use of imported fuels and our greenhouse gas emissions significantly," KIUC President and Chief Executive Officer David Bissell said.
Bissell estimates 1.6 million gallons of diesel will be saved because of the new solar plant. It will also bring KIUC to more than 40 percent of renewable generation while saving the cooperation money.
An open house will be held for the community to view the new plant Saturday March 11 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
KIUC says the plant is expected to be fully operational next month.