UPDATE – (9:30 p.m.) – Hawaiian Electric lifted the call for Big Island customers to conserve energy on Tuesday night, following a power generation shortfall that resulted in the utility initiating brief outages in Puna, South Kona, and North Kohala.
From a Hawaiian Electric news release:
Hawaiian Electric has lifted its call for Hawai‘i Island customers to conserve energy tonight. Despite conservation efforts, the company was faced with a generation shortfall and initiated two brief outages between 7:20 p.m. and 8:06 p.m.
About 8,580 customers in Ainaloa, Pāhoa, Captain Cook to Honaunau, Hala‘ula along Akoni Pule Highway from ‘Iole Road to Niuli Place, and some areas of Hawaiian Paradise Park were impacted by a brief outage lasting up to 30 minutes.
The 30-minute 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. 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 to conserve energy as much as possible, especially between 5 to 9 p.m. Commercial customers were also asked to voluntarily reduce electricity usage.
The call for conservation and generation shortfall were due to the unavailability of two large generators: Hawaiian Electric’s Hill Plant Unit #6 and independent power producer Hamakua Energy. In addition, wind resources were near zero. This morning, a problem on the transmission lines caused Hamakua Energy to unexpectedly disconnect from the grid resulting in an outage impacting about 31,000 customers. Hamakua Energy came back online just before 8 p.m. after inspections and repairs were completed.
Hawaiian Electric thanks independent power producer AES Waikoloa Solar, which provided about 30 megawatts to the electric grid in advance of its official commissioning.
(BIVN) – Hawaiian Electric wont be able to meet the power demand on the Big Island tonight, and will be initiating rolling outages.
Earlier this evening, the electric utility informed the public of the potential for power outages, and asked Hawaiʻi Island to conserve energy in the hopes the rolling blackouts might be avoided.
From a Hawaiian Electric news release:
Hawaiian Electric is initiating 30-minute rolling outages in parts of Hawaiʻi Island tonight due to the unexpected loss of two large generators. In addition, wind resources are near zero.
Outages will start in the areas of Ainaloa and Pāhoa, Captain Cook to Honaunau, and Halaula along Akoni Pule Highway from Iole Road to Niuli Place at about 6:45 p.m. The brief emergency outages will be initiated in various areas around the island 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 are based on the amount of electric demand that needs to be reduced.
Earlier today, Hawaiian Electric urged customers to conserve energy as much as possible, especially between 5 to 9 p.m. Commercial customers were also asked to voluntarily reduce electricity usage. While demand has eased, there still remains a generation shortfall.
“We apologize for the need to initiate rolling blackouts this evening and appreciate the patience of all who are impacted,” said Kristen Okinaka, spokesperson for Hawaiian Electric’s operations on Hawai‘i Island. “We are faced with a generation shortfall, and it’s necessary to leave some people without power for short periods to protect the entire electrical grid until needed generation can be returned to service.”
Impacted customers are advised to unplug televisions, computers and other electronics and appliances to protect them from electrical surges when power is restored. Customers also should minimize opening the refrigerator-freezer doors while the power is out.
The need to conserve is prompted by the unavailability of two large generators. Hamakua Energy tripped offline and is undergoing repairs and Hawaiian Electric’s Hill Plant Unit #6 is offline due to a mechanical issue. Combined, these units supply about 80 megawatts of power. In addition, wind resources are forecast to be near zero. Please check @HIElectricLight on Twitter for updates.