LIHUE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - 59,000 solar panels are now online at the new Anahola solar facility and are set to generate about 20 percent of the electricity on the Garden Isle.
Kauai Island Utility Cooperative held a public dedication ceremony on Saturday to show the public how the facility is operated.
"Anahola is an important milestone toward our goal of using renewables to meet 50 percent of Kauai's energy needs by 2023," said Jan TenBruggencate, chairman of the cooperative's board of directors in a statement.
The Anahola Solar Array is a $54 million dollar project built by REC Solar on 60 acres of land leased for 25 years from the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. The electricity generated at Anahola will allow the cooperative to reduce carbon emissions by 18,000 tons per year and will eliminate 1.7 million gallons of oil that are imported annually to generate electricity.
The Anahola solar facility is the state's largest solar project.
By the end of 2015, 37 percent of the electricity generated on Kauai will come from a mix of renewable resources like solar, hydropower and biomass.
"Using the sun to make electricity has multiple benefits," TenBruggencate said. "It reduces our members' costs, stabilizes our rates, keeps dollars in the local economy and contributes to efforts to slow climate change."