Rolling outages over for now as HECO asks Oahu customers to conserve power

Koko Marina Center

Hawaiian Electric began rolling outages Monday night after the loss of several generating units.

The goal is to ensure the demand for power does not exceed the amount of available generation, which could result in an island-wide outage.

The first phase began just before 6:30 p.m. in the Nuuanu-School Street area, and continued in Hawaii Kai, sections of Waimanalo, Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Aina Haina and Waialae Iki at 7:20 p.m. Power was restored just before 8 p.m. and no additional outages were announced.

In all, HECO says 27,000 customers were affected.

Football fans at The Shack in Hawaii Kai were able to enjoy the entire College Football Playoff championship game before the outage hit. But general manager Andrew Reyes says a power outage in general is bad for business.

“It will definitely hurt our business and, for safety reasons, we cannot serve our customers,” he said. “We will not lose customers, we will lose money.”

A loss of power didn’t stop members of the Waimanalo Neighborhood Board. Their meeting continued by lamplight at Bellows Air Force Station.

In downtown Honolulu, state sheriffs came to the rescue of about 20 state workers who got stuck in a parking structure. Officials say rolling outages trapped them and their cars inside the garage and a deputy sheriff had to manually pull up the automatic gate to let them out.

Hawaiian Electric said system operators evaluated demand for electricity and based on that, determined the exact start time and whether any if at all of the following areas would be affected:

  • Nuuanu-School Street area, all of Hawaii Kai, sections of Waimanalo and Kahala
  • Most of Waipahu, sections of Pearl City, Kunia, Ewa Beach, Waiawa, Crestview, sections of Mililani
  • Pearl City, Waimalu, Waialua, Kuilima

“We apologize for this disruption and thank our customers for their patience. We understand the evening hours, especially today with the football game, are an especially inconvenient time to cut back on electricity, but with everyone’s help we hope to avoid an emergency situation,” said Darren Pai, Hawaiian Electric spokesperson.

If any of your electronic equipment is damaged or if you have spoiled food because of the outage, you can file a claim with HECO within 30 days by calling 543-4624.

HECO also asked Oahu residents to conserve power Monday night, especially between 5 and 9 p.m.

Suggested steps include turning off or lessening use of air conditioners, delaying hot showers and dishwashing activities, and minimizing cooking until later in the evening. The city also advises residents to turn off and unplug your appliances and refrain from opening your refrigerator or freezer.

A 180-megawatt power plant operated by AES, an independent power producer, unexpectedly went out of service Monday afternoon, cutting power to about 22,000 customers for 10 minutes, starting at 1:50 p.m.

The outages affected customers in areas across the island, including Kailua, Kaneohe, Maunawili, Wailupe, Halawa, Makalapa, Waipahu, and Waimano. Power to most affected customers was restored shortly after 2 p.m.

In addition, the Kalaeloa Power Plant, also owned and operated by an independent power producer, has been providing less than half its maximum output of 208 megawatts as it goes through repairs for an equipment problem.

HECO said one of its generating units at the Kahe Power Plant, which normally produces 135 megawatts, is also offline after unexpected problems Monday morning.

To report an outage, call HECO at 1-855-304-1212.

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