Hawaiian Electric urges customers to limit electricity usage this evening

Hawaiian Electric is urging Big Island customers to conserve electricity this evening after a generator failure.

According to a statement, Hawaiian Electric fears that it might not have enough generating capacity to meet peak power demand this evening and is asking customers to reduce their electricity usage between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.


The request comes after Hawaiian Electric’s Hill 5 generator unexpectedly failed at the same time that two generator units at the Keahole Power Plant were shut down for annual maintenance.

With all three generators unavailable, the power grid faces a 50-megawatt shortfall.

Wind power generation also is forecast to be low.

Hawaiian Electric suggests that customers reduce the use of lights and air-conditioners, delay the use of hot water and minimize cooking until later in the evening.

The utility also has asked large commercial customers to voluntarily reduce their energy consumption and has requested maximum possible power output from Puna Geothermal Venture.

Reducing consumption in this way can prevent the need for Hawaiian Electric to initiate rolling 30-minute blackouts. However, if those blackouts become necessary, Hawaiian Electric will use social media to notify customers, via @HIElectricLight on Twitter.

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