Honoring its past, the people and Hawaii Island; Hawaii Electric Light commemorates 125 years of service

This year, Hawaii Electric Light commemorates 125 years of providing electric service to Hawaii Island.

The utility’s history as a kamaaina company dates back to 1894, when 100% of the energy generated came from a hydroelectric unit using water leased from the Hilo Boarding School’s irrigation ditch. Today, the company is here 24/7, providing electricity from a diverse mix of resources including hydro, solar, wind and biofuels, drawing closer to a 100% clean energy future.


The celebration began with tours of the company’s historic Shipman Power Plant in September and continues with weekly prizes on KWXX radio through Dec. 6. The community is invited to the remaining events, which include two movie nights and a gathering outside the original Hilo Electric Light office in downtown Hilo.

A free drive-in movie night is slated for Friday, Nov. 15, in the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium parking lot. Showtime is 6:30 p.m. Food will be available for purchase starting at 5 p.m. In addition to the movie, the family celebration includes games, prizes and the Hawaii Classic Cruizers.

This is an alcohol- and drug-free event. Chairs and mats are welcome, but tents are not permitted.

This event was postponed in August because of approaching storms.

On Thursday morning, Dec. 5, the 125th Anniversary Celebration is slated in downtown Hilo outside the original Hilo Electric Light Co. headquarters on Kalakaua Street. The community is invited to enjoy light refreshments, historic displays and commemorative anniversary giveaways from 8-9:45 a.m. Lower Kalakaua Street will be closed from 6:30-10 a.m. for the event.

In Kona, a free Outdoor Movie Night is planned for 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Kona Commons. Showtime is 6 p.m. In addition to the movie, there will be prize drawings, information booths featuring local nonprofit organizations, visits with Santa and free popcorn.

Picnic chairs and blankets are welcome, but coolers, alcohol and outside food are not permitted.


In the spirit of the holiday season, new, unwrapped toys will be collected for the Toys for Tots program to benefit island keiki.

For more information, visit www.hawaiielectriclight.com or find the utility on Twitter (@HIElectricLight), Facebook (HawaiianElectric) and Instagram (@HawaiianElectric).

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