Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative has issued a request for proposals to retrofit 3,500 street lights with LEDs as part of its energy efficiency collaborations with the County of Kauaʻi and the State of Hawaiʻi.

The county, which is KIUC’s largest customer, spends about $1m a year on 2,900 street lights. The latest generation of LED lights uses half the energy of traditional high-pressure sodium lights, potentially providing significant savings to government agencies.

This is the first time in Hawai?i that an island’s entire inventory of street lights will be switched to LEDs. The project will also include 582 lights owned by the state Department of Transportation.

KIUC will pay for the retrofitting work and recover the cost through a revised tariff with the county and state. The new tariff requires the approval of the Public Utilities Commission.

The project is a result of the partnership between KIUC and the County of Kaua?i that commits the cooperative and local government to work together to reduce the island’s consumption of fossil fuels and lower the cost of energy for its residents.

"This is just the kind of mutually beneficial project envisioned when we established our partnership," said David Bissell, president and CEO of KIUC. "The county cuts its lighting bill and KIUC uses less fossil fuel and reduces greenhouse gas emissions."

KIUC’s goal is to generate 50 percent of its power by using renewable resources by 2023. That could reduce the amount of oil consumed by KIUC by about 15 million gallons annually.

"We’ve been working closely with KIUC and we’re starting to see real results from this great partnership," said Kaua?i Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. "The LED project will start to save us money immediately and it’s better for the environment. It’s a win-win all around and it’s just the start of what we’re hoping to accomplish."