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Tuesday, March 14, 2023
No Wind: Rolling blackouts impact more than 8K customers
By News Release @ 11:59 PM :: 2418 Views :: Hawaii County , Energy

CONSERVATION ALERT: Hawaii Island customers asked to reduce electricity use from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight

News Release from HECO, 3/14/2023

HILO, March 14, 2023 – Hawaiian Electric is asking Hawaii Island customers to conserve electricity from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight.

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. AES Waikoloa Solar also is working to supply additional electricity to the grid.

With conservation efforts by commercial and residential customers, Hawaiian Electric expects to have enough generating capacity available to meet the early evening peak demand, but it is possible rolling, 30-minute outages will be initiated if conservation measures fall short.

Using less electricity from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. helps ensure enough power is available when electricity use is highest. Conservation methods include turning off air conditioners and unnecessary lighting, shutting off water heaters, and delaying activities like cooking, showering, laundry, and dishwashing.

In advance of rolling outages, Hawaiian Electric will notify customers through social media. Please check @HIElectricLight on Twitter for updates.

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Rolling blackouts impact more than 8K customers

HTH: ... Hawaiian Electric announced shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday that it would conduct 30-minute rolling outages starting in the areas of Ainaloa and Pahoa, Captain Cook to Honaunau, and Halaula along Akoni Pule Highway from Iole Road to Niuli Place.

“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,”according to the announcement.

At 9:30 p.m., Hawaiian Electric said in statement an estimated 8,580 customers were impacted by the blackouts, which began at 7:20 p.m. and ended at 8:06 p.m.

Hawaiian Electric spokeswoman Kristen Okinaka stated via email on Wednesday that conservation efforts by residents and business owners helped reduce the strain on the power grid, but noted that the lack of wind on a hot day caused both a higher use of air conditioning and a lack of wind-generated power to bolster the grid’s capacity.

Okinaka wrote that Hawaiian Electric’s systems operations team determined the sites of the blackouts based on several factors.

“Our system operations team manages the island’s electric grid and determines whether we will have sufficient generation to meet the evening peak, which is when electricity use is the highest,” Okinaka wrote. “The peak is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The impacted areas and the timing of the outages are based on the amount of electric demand that needs to be reduced in real time. The areas also are rotated so different areas are selected for this type of emergency outage.”...

read ... Rolling blackouts impact more than 8K customers

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