HECO asks Oahu customers again to conserve power

Hawaiian Electric Company is dealing with more power issues that prompted the company to issue another urgent request to conserve energy.

“There’s really a combination of different factors that have created this situation,” said Hawaiian Electric spokesperson, Darren Pai.

A situation that HECO customers on Oahu know about all to well.

For the second time in a week, HECO has asked customers to conserve electricity.

“The hot muggy conditions have really run up the demand for electricity because a lot of people are using the air conditioning,” said Pai.

But that’s just factor number one, what else is causing these issues?

“Secondly, there is a power plant at Campbell Industrial Park owned by Kalaeloa partners that is out of service,”said Pai.

This isn’t the first time something has come up at this specific power plant. If you remember just last week there was a similar issue. Where the generator at the plant encountered a problem, and it could only operate at half its capacity.

Now a week later, HECO says the entire plant is out of service because of unexpected repairs.

“We really want them to get back online, they are an important part to the generation mix that helps meet our islands energy needs,” said Pai.

How important? According to the company’s website, they provide 20% of the entire island’s electrical generating power capacity.

But the question still remains, could these problems continue?

“The fact of the matter is our electric grid relies on these big fossil fuel power plants and having those in place you always have the risk of one of them shutting down,” said Richard Wallsgrove of the Blue Planet Foundation.

HECO says they will continue to monitor things and are working with the downed power plant.

“Our concern is whether there’s enough reserve power if another problem develops,” said Pai. “If another problem develops with another generator on the system were concerned that there wont be enough reserves to make up for that and then we may be in a situation where we have a much bigger problems.”

As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, the request from HECO to conserve power was lifted, but they do say customers should continue to conserve electricity whenever possible.

Repairs are being made on the power plant owned by Kalaeloa Partners.

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