East Hawaii News

Brief Power Interruptions Explained by Hawai’i Electric Light

April 16, 2016, 7:31 AM HST
* Updated April 16, 11:24 AM
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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.

Brief power interruptions that began on Wednesday continued for the remainder of the work week, according to Hawai’i Electric Light.

Late Friday evening, the utility company issued a release explaining the seven to 20-minute power pauses experience by customers between Wednesday and Friday, noting the cause to be “a sudden loss of generation at several power plants.”

Hawai’i Electric says that Hamakua Energy Partners’ generator unexpectedly tripped offline Wednesday and Thursday. Then, on Friday, the company’s Puna steam plant and a combustion turbine unit at its Keahole Power Plant (CT2) tripped offline.

Protective devices are said to have automatically disconnected, thus disconnecting some customers to rebalance the availability of supply of power generation. The power interruptions took place as backup generators were started.

“We sincerely apologize for the interruptions,” said Kristen Okinaka, Hawai‘i Electric Light spokeswoman. “Our employees worked hard to bring additional generating units online and safely restore service to customers.”

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Repairs at both the Puna and Keahole generating units have been completed. Hamakua Energy Partners’ plant will remain out of service as repairs are made.

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