POSTPONED – First Monthly “Talk Story Tuesday” to be held for West Kauaʻi Energy Project

Posted on Jul 27, 2021 in Hot Topics, Important Events

UPDATE: Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and increased evidence of community spread of the virus, KIUC is postponing the launch of the West Kauai Energy Project “Talk Story Tuesday” community outreach program. The first event, which was scheduled to start at 4:30 pm on August 10 at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center, has been CANCELLED. KIUC will continue to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 cases on Kauai with the goal of launching WKEP Talk Story Tuesday in September if it is deemed safe to do so.

As previously announced, once initiated the meetings will be held the second Tuesday of each month, alternating between Kekaha and Waimea.

Keeping consumers informed and soliciting community feedback on the West Kauaʻi Energy Project (WKEP) will be the focus of a series of monthly community meetings.

“Everyone is welcome to attend,” said Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell. “There’ll be no set agenda. We’ll share updates on WKEP and answer questions. The goal is to create an ongoing and open dialogue on this important project.”

WKEP is an innovative pumped-storage hydro and irrigation facility coupled with solar and battery storage being undertaken by KIUC and its renewable energy partner, AES. In addition to providing up to 25 percent of Kauaʻi’s power supply and bringing KIUC to more than 80 percent renewable generation, the project will create economic development and agricultural opportunities for Native Hawaiians and the west side communities of Waimea and Kekaha by delivering irrigation water to lands owned by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Agribusiness Development Corporation.

“WKEP will be a ‘legacy’ generation facility: expected to serve Kauaʻi’s energy needs for 100 years or more while stabilizing rates over time,” said Bissell. “The unique topography of the area coupled with the existing plantation ditch and reservoir infrastructure offer the opportunity to create a renewable energy generation project that is unique in the world.”

Talk Story Tuesday, which is hosted jointly by KIUC and AES, will be scheduled the second Tuesday of each month at 4:30 pm: alternating between Kekaha and Waimea. A meeting location for Waimea on Tuesday, September 14 has yet to be determined.

To learn more about WKEP, visit the project website at: