KIUC seeks 65-year water lease to energize hydropower facilities

KIUC seeks 65-year water lease to energize hydropower facilities
Water leaves the Lower Waiahi hydropower plant and re-enters Waiahi Stream (Source: KIUC)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -The public is being asked to comment on the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative's plans for its Waiahi hydropower plants.

The utility says it diverts water at the North Fork Wailua River and Waikoko Stream to power its plants, and is collectively referred to as the “Blue Hole Diversion.”

It’s requesting a 65-year, long term lease. Right now, the utility has a revocable permit, which is granted by the state on an annual basis.

KIUC says the Upper and Lower Waiahi plants have been in operation for nearly 100 years, and power from the facilities cuts down on diesel use. That results in estimated $1.7 million in savings a year when operating at full capacity, KIUC says.

This is the second time the public is being allowed to comment on the proposal, following a procedural issue.

Comments from the first round are still valid. The deadline to comment is Dec. 23.

If you’d like to submit comments, you may do so by emailing any of the following three: ian.c.hirokawa@hawaii.gov, dhuff@joulegroup.com, jschefel@ssfm.com.

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