“It’s always sunny in Poipu…” making it the perfect place for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Green Energy.
It is no wonder then that Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) recently built Hawaii’s largest solar facility right here in Koloa/Poipu. The $40 million, 12-megawatt array is able to capture the sun’s power to supply almost half of Kauai’s daytime energy demand, reducing the island’s overall fuel oil consumption by 1.7 million gallons annually.
Combining the south shore’s natural sunny “disposition” with the substantial state and federal tax credits offered for new solar residential photovoltaic (PV) installations makes Poipu one of the most ideal places in the nation for solar usage.
According to a local solar company, Islandwide Solar, “many of our customers have reduced their energy costs between 30-40%.” Furthermore, when the installed systems are tied to the grid, KIUC currently will buy back a homeowner’s excess power.
Is Residential Solar a Good Investment?
Is investment in residential solar right for everyone? It’s living green, and since electricity is our most expensive utility, for many of us, will an investment in our own PV allow us to keep more of our paper green?
Not necessarily. Even with our lion share of sunshine, the government credits, KIUC buy back, and recent competitive prices for systems, the balance between cost and time may not be just right for many of us. Incentives, costs, capacity, saturation level, and rates all play a role, and all can change.