The existing Puu Opae reservoir could become part of a novel solar powered grid storage system on Kauai. (Photo courtesy of KIUC) Hawaii’s island of Kauai further burnished its reputation for figuring out clean energy years ahead of the mainland. The nonprofit Kauai Island Utility Cooperative signed a deal with AES to deliver power throughout the night from a solar-charged water pumping system. If approved — a fairly complex process, given the land-use requirements — the project would bring KIUC’s electricity mix to 80 percent clean energy by the mid-2020s. The state has committed to 100 percent renewable electricity by midcentury. The utility already powers the island almost entirely from renewable power at midday, said Chief of Operations Brad Rockwell. With several lithium-ion battery installations to shift solar generation into later parts of the day, Kauai has gone for as long as nine hours in a day on entirely renewable electricity production. But it was tapping out of the conventional options for additional clean energy. "It got to the point where we just didn’t have any more room in our daytime demand to take more solar," Rockwell told Greentech Media on Thursday. "Now, even those four or five hours […]

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