CALL FOR CONSERVATION: Oahu customers asked to reduce electric use to help Hawaiian Electric meet demand
News Release from HECO
HONOLULU, Oct. 11, 2019 – Hawaiian Electric is asking Oahu customers to conserve power from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight to help make up for a generation shortfall.
The heat and high humidity are driving increased demand for air conditioning at the same time overcast skies are diminishing solar output and wind resources are minimal.
This morning’s lightning storm damaged transmission lines that carry power from two wind generating units. Additionally, several generators, including the H-Power plant, are offline or operating at minimal output because of damage from rain or lightning. Repairs are underway but may not be completed in time for tonight’s peak demand period.
Energy conservation by the public can help ensure sufficient power is available to meet demand. Suggested steps include turning off or reducing use of air conditioners, delaying showers, laundry and dishwashing activities, and going out for dinner or minimizing cooking until later in the evening.
Hawaiian Electric has already asked its large commercial customers to voluntarily reduce electricity usage. System operators will also work on further reducing the demand for power by activating Hawaiian Electric’s demand response programs. These voluntary programs help lower the overall use of electricity by reducing the energy output of certain appliances or equipment, such as water heaters and air conditioners, for participating residential customers and non-essential lighting and heating or cooling systems for participating commercial customers.
“If we were to lose another large generating unit during the peak hours, we would be in an emergency situation and would have to begin brief rolling blackouts,” Hawaiian Electric spokesperson Jim Kelly said. “With everyone’s help we can ensure we have enough power available. This is an unusual situation and we appreciate the support of our customers - every bit we conserve really helps.”