Hawaiian Electric asks Big Island customers to again reduce electricity use
Hawaiian Electric is once again asking its Big Island customers to limit their electricity use, this time until 9 p.m. today.
The utility company says the need for conservation is being prompted by the unexpected loss of several of its large generators. In addition, wind resources are forecast to be lower than usual and electricity demand has been unusually high since last week because of humid weather.
Hawaiian Electric’s combustion turbine CT-1 unit and steam generator Hill 6 are offline for emergency repairs and annual steam turbine maintenance work continues at Keahole Power Plant. In addition, one unit at Hāmākua Energy, an independent power producer that supplies electricity to the Hawaiian Electric grid, remains offline because of unexpected issues.
Combined, these units usually supply about 66 megawatts of power. Independent power producer Puna Geothermal Venture’s output also is lower than expected.
The evening peak demand is when electricity use is highest. Using less electricity from 5-9 p.m. helps ensure enough power is available during those hours. Conservation methods include turning off air conditioners and unnecessary lighting, shutting off water heaters and delaying activities such as cooking, showering, laundry and dishwashing.
Larger commercial customers, including government, hotels and retailers, are also being asked to voluntarily reduce electricity use.
If necessary, rolling 30-minute outages will be initiated to protect the electric system and prevent loss of power to an even greater number of customers. The impacted areas and the timing of the outages would be based on the amount of electric demand that needs to be reduced.
Hawaiian Electric will notify customers in advance through social media if rolling outages are necessary. Please check @HIElectricLight on Twitter for updates.