Hawaii Island customers asked to conserve power this week
News Release from HECO, 8/29/2022
(UPDATE Sept 2, 2022: Hamakua Energy Partners gets shipment of ammonia, reopens.)
Hilo, Aug. 29, 2022 - Hawaiian Electric is asking Hawaii Island customers to conserve electricity from 5 to 9 p.m. starting tonight and each night this week.
The need to conserve is prompted by the unavailability of the island’s largest independent power producer, Hamakua Energy Partners. In addition, wind resources are forecast to be low.
Currently, Hawaiian Electric expects to have enough generating capacity available to meet the early evening peak demand. Energy conservation by the public can help ensure sufficient power is available to meet demand, which increases in the early evening. Suggested steps include turning off or reducing use of lights and air conditioners, delaying showers, laundry and dishwashing activities, and going out for dinner or minimizing cooking until later in the evening.
Hawaiian Electric is also taking these steps:
- Asking large commercial customers, including hotels and resorts, to voluntarily reduce energy use, especially heavy equipment and air conditioning;
- Accelerating repair and maintenance on its own units;
- Running units longer and on different schedules than usual to ensure sufficient generation is available
- Requesting maximum output available from Puna Geothermal Venture
Hamakua Energy Partners, an independent power producer, normally supplies 60 megawatts of power, but is currently unavailable. It is not known when the units will be returned to service. In addition, Hawaiian Electric’s Hill Plant Unit No. 5 is undergoing annual scheduled maintenance. It normally supplies 14 megawatts of power.
By reducing demand, Hawaiian Electric can ensure enough electricity is available and prevent the need to initiate rolling, 30-minute outages. If rolling outages are necessary, Hawaiian Electric will make every effort to use social media to notify customers in the affected areas in advance. Please check @HIElectricLight on Twitter for updates.
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Power restored to all Maui customers
Outage began with high-voltage short circuit in substation
News Release from HECO, 8/23/2022
KAHULUI, Aug. 23, 2022 - Hawaiian Electric has restored power to all affected Maui customers by 2 p.m. today after an estimated 65,000 customers in various parts of the island experienced an outage that started around 2:45 a.m. this morning.
(CLUE: “2:45AM” equals “caused by erratic windfarm electricity fluctuations”.)
Crews restored power to a majority of affected customers by 10:15 a.m. after a high-voltage short circuit occurred at a substation in Maalaea, which triggered generating units to trip offline. This is a highly unusual event – the last outage to affect a large number of Maui customers occurred after a lightning storm in 2017 – and the company is looking into the cause of the short circuit.
Mahalo to our customers and communities for their patience as crews worked as quickly as possible to restore power.
If you are still experiencing an outage, please check to reset your home breaker or contact the Hawaiian Electric Maui County Trouble Line at (808) 871-7777.
CONSERVATION ALERT: Hawaii Island customers asked to continue reducing electricity use from 5-9 p.m. through Saturday
Conservation, wind resources preventing outages
HECO News Release Date: 9/1/2022
HILO, Sept. 1, 2022 – Rolling outages were not initiated on Hawaii Island on Wednesday night thanks to conservation efforts by residential and business customers and sufficient wind generation.
Customers are asked to continue to limit electricity use from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Saturday to 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 like cooking, showering, laundry, and dishwashing.
Since Monday, customer conservation efforts have prevented the need to initiate rolling 30-minute outages. The request for conservation was prompted by the unexpected shutdown of the island’s largest independent power producer, Hamakua Energy, due to the unavailability of ammonia used for pollution control. Hawaiian Electric’s Hill Plant Unit No. 5 and Puna Steam Plant also are unavailable due to planned annual maintenance and repairs. These three plants normally generate 89 megawatts for the Hawaii Island grid. In addition, wind resources are forecast to be lower than usual.
If necessary, rolling outages will be initiated to protect the electric system and prevent loss of power to an even greater number of customers. Hawaiian Electric will notify customers in advance through social media. Please check @HIElectricLight on Twitter for updates.
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Hawaiian Electric lifts call for power conservation on Hawaii Island
Hamakua Energy back online
News Release from HECO, 9/2/2022
HILO, Sept. 2, 2022 – Hawaiian Electric has lifted its call for Hawaii Island customers to conserve electricity. Customers may resume their normal use of electricity tonight.
“With Hamakua Energy back online today, we expect to have sufficient power to continue to serve our Hawaii Island community,” said Kristen Okinaka, Hawaiian Electric spokesperson. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and thank everyone for doing their part to conserve electricity and help keep the lights on. Your efforts made the difference.”
Thousands of households as well as small and large commercial customers who reduced their use of electricity helped prevent the need for rolling outages. Hawaiian Electric thanks these large businesses that voluntary agreed to lower their energy use: Costco Wholesale, County of Hawaii Department of Water Supply, Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole, Foodland, Hawaii Water Service, Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort, Kaupulehu Water Company, Kohanaiki, KTA Super Stores, Malama Market, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, Target, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, and Westin Hapuna Prince Beach Hotel.
Earlier this week, customers were asked to conserve from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. when electricity use is highest. The request was prompted by the unexpected shutdown of the island’s largest independent power producer, Hamakua Energy, due to the unavailability of ammonia used for pollution control. Hawaiian Electric’s Hill Plant Unit No. 5 and Puna Steam Plant also were unavailable due to planned annual maintenance and repairs.