East Hawaii News

UPDATE: Hawai’i Electric Requests Saturday Evening Power Reduction

February 20, 2016, 6:45 PM HST
* Updated February 20, 11:57 PM
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Hawai'i Electric Light's Hilo office on Kilauea Avenue. File photo by Dave Smith.

Hawai’i Electric Light’s Hilo office on Kilauea Avenue. File photo by Dave Smith.

***Updated at 11:45 p.m. to include information from Hawai’i Electric Light.***

Hawai’i Electric Light officials say about 26,300 customers were affected Saturday evening during rotating power interruptions.

The interruptions lasted about 20 to 30 minutes each between 6:17 p.m. and 8:05 p.m. as a result of insufficient generation for the evening peak, according to Hawai’i Electric.

Three major generators, including Hawai’i Electric’s CT4 and CT5 at the Keahole power plant and Hamakua Energy Partners’ steam turbine unit, faltered due to mechanical issues. In addition, CT1 was not in service as result of a planned overhaul.

In order to avoid a widespread interruption or damage to the electric system from an inbalance of too much demand versus too little available generation, Hawai’i Electric said the interruptions were necessary.

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Repairs are being conducted on the two Keahole combustion turbine units, as well as the CT1 unit, which they hope to get back early from the planned overhaul.

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According to officicals, the Hamakua Energy Partners steam turbine unit is not expected to return to service until Tuesday.

Hawai’i Electric plans to start its Puna steam unit,, which takes several hours to get online.

“Our employees are working to repair our generation units. As a contingency, we will be starting up our Puna steam unit for Sunday’s evening peak use period. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation,” said Rhea Lee-Moku, Hawai‘i Electric Light spokeswoman.

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Lack of wind and dry conditions have lessened the availability of wind resources and hydro power.

Anyone who is still without power should call the trouble desk at 969-6666.

***Original story posted at 6:45 p.m.***

Hawai’i Electric Light customers are being asked to conserve power between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday evening.

The request is due to the unavailability of three major generators on the island: Hawai’i Electric Light’s CT4 and CT5 at Keahole power plant and Hamakua Energy Partners’ steam turbine unit.

Hawai’i Electric officials say that in addition, wind resources are at zero.

Repair work is currently being conducted at the Keahole combustion turbine units.

In order to maintain stability around the island, half-hour power outages may be implanted around the island to maintain stability within the system.

“We understand the evening hours are especially inconvenient time to cut back on electricity. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation,” said Rhea Lee-Moku, Hawai’i Electric spokesperson.

Customer usage is usually elevated during the evening hours. Hawai’i Electric suggests turning off or lessening air conditioners, delaying hot showers, and dishwashing, as well as delaying oven and dryer use.

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