Amp up your commute

by Jessica Else - The Garden Island KOLOA — David Lee needed to figure out a way to use some of the extra energy his photovoltaic system generated when Kauai Island Utility Cooperative halved the amount paid to PV owners for excess energy. He bought a used Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. Now he powers his treks around the island with extra energy generated at home. “Right now, there is so much PV generation in the daytime, KIUC has a plan to curtail buying from customers when there is too much supply,” Lee said. “Why not use it to charge car batteries?” Lee explained that it’s a “win-win-win situation,” with KIUC selling more energy, electric vehicle (EV) owners getting 40-80 miles per gallon depending on the rate discount, and a cleaner environment. Lee is getting the equivalent of 80 miles per gallon on his EV. That’s calculated by figuring the cost to charge the battery rather than selling the energy to KIUC after driving a known distance and...
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