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Schatz, Hirono, Gabbard Announce More Than $60 Million In Rural Electric Infrastructure Funding For Kaua‘i

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) will receive a more than $60 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to build and upgrade more than 70 miles of power lines and support smart grid projects.

“KIUC is on track to be 50% renewable by 2023 and this funding will help them reach that goal,” said Senator Schatz. “This loan will help KIUC continue the work it’s already doing to improve resiliency, stay energy independent, and keep Kaua‘i clean and green.”

“Today’s award recognizes Hawai‘i’s continued leadership in renewable energy,” said Senator Hirono. “This competitive funding will allow Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative to invest in needed infrastructure upgrades and technologies that will improve Kaua‘i’s power grid and help our state reach its 100 percent renewable electricity goal.”

“KIUC is driving Hawai?i forward toward our 100 percent renewable energy goal, already generating more than 40 percent of Kaua?i’s total electricity from renewable sources,” said Congresswoman Gabbard. “This loan provides funds that will further this progress by investing in smartgrid technology, building new lines and improving existing lines, and helping the Garden Isle better manage and optimize its power grid.”

KIUC is a not-for-profit electric cooperative headquartered in L?hu‘e, Hawai‘i that serves 33,000 electric accounts on the island of Kaua‘i. Having committed to using solar, biomass and hydropower to produce at least 70 percent of the island's electricity by 2030, KIUC is a nationally recognized leader in the use of renewable energy.

These loans are being awarded through USDA Rural Development’s Electric Program which helps finance electric projects and utilities that serve customers in rural areas through direct loans, grants, and loan guarantees.