UPDATE: Hawaiian Electric lifts call for power conservation on Big Island
This story was updated at 9:49 p.m. Tuesday, March 14.
Despite conservation efforts, more than 8,000 Big Island Hawaiian Electric customers were subjected to brief emergency outages tonight (March 14) as the utility faced a generation shortfall on the island.
Two brief outages between 7:20 and 8:06 p.m. affected customers in ʻĀinaloa, Pāhoa, Captain Cook to Hōnaunau, Hala‘ula along ʻAkoni Pule Highway from ‘Iole Road to Niuli’i Place. Some areas of Hawaiian Paradise Park were also impacted by an outage lasting up to 30 minutes.
The emergency outages were initiated in various areas around the island to protect the electric system and prevent loss of power to an even greater number of customers thanks to the unexpected loss of two large power generators. In addition, wind resources are near zero.
The impacted areas and the timing of the outages were based on the amount of electric demand that needed to be reduced.
Earlier today, Hawaiian Electric urged customers were urged earlier in the day to conserve energy as much as possible, especially between 5 and 9 p.m., because Hāmākua Energy tripped offline and was undergoing repairs and Hawaiian Electric’s Hill Plant Unit No. 6 was offline because of a mechanical issue. Combined, these units supply about 80 megawatts of power.
Commercial customers were also asked to voluntarily reduce electricity usage.
Hawaiian Electric thanks independent power producer AES Waikōloa Solar, which provided about 30 megawatts to the electric grid in advance of its official commissioning.
Follow @HIElectricLight on Twitter for additional updates and other outage-related information.