HECO says no rolling outages expected Tuesday night

Hawaiian Electric says no rolling outages are expected Tuesday.

The utility initiated rolling outages Monday night after several generating units went down.

HECO says the amount of available power generation on Oahu has improved significantly, however it is asking customers to once again conserve energy between 5 and 9 p.m.

“Our crews have been able to restore some service to the Kahe 5 generating unit at our Kahe Power Plant, (independent power producer) AES has been able to restore partial service to its generating unit, so there’s been some progress, but unfortunately, we’re in a situation where we still have very low reserves,” said HECO spokesman Darren Pai. “We don’t have a lot of reserves available if there is some additional problem on the system, which is why we’re asking our customers to help us by conserving power.”

Customers can help by turning off or reducing the use of air conditioners; delaying hot showers, laundry and dishwashing, and minimizing cooking until later in the evening.

HECO says Monday night’s conservation efforts made a huge difference. “Demand did not really increase as high so we were able to really manage the overall demand on the system by customers helping out, by using some of our programs like demand response programs, where we control some customers’ water heaters, so all of that combined together got us through that situation last night,” Pai said.

However, rolling outages were still required Monday night to ensure the demand for power did not exceed the amount of available generation, which could have resulted in an island-wide outage.

Pai says conservation requests may continue throughout the week as crews work to restore critical generating units back to full service.

When asked why it took the utility so long to announce the rolling outages, Pai said, “We had to assess the situation make sure we could get as much information as possible, and as soon as we had everything available, we made the announcement to the public.”

As far as why certain areas are picked, Pai says the company picks residential areas to try to prevent endangering public health and safety. HECO also determines how much power each area uses and matches it up with how much is needed to avoid a problem.

“We know it’s not fair to really expect any one group of customers to shoulder all of the burden, so we have to try and put together a schedule looking through the entire situation,” Pai said.

AES crews have been working on repairs to a boiler tube leak and have been able to partially restore their generating station. AES, which is the single largest generating unit on the island, is currently producing 82 megawatts of power compared to its normal maximum output of 180 megawatts.

Hawaiian Electric is restoring to service a 135-megawatt generating unit at the Kahe Power Plant, but it is not expected to operate at full capability Tuesday evening.

In addition, a plant at independent power producer Kalaeloa Partners continues to operate at less than half its maximum output of 208 megawatts. Crews continue to repair damaged turbine blades, a problem dating back to December 2014.

Based on current weather forecasts, Hawaiian Electric also does not expect to receive much production Tuesday evening from the wind farms located on the North Shore.

In all, HECO said 27,000 customers were affected by Monday night’s rolling outages.

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.

If any of your electronic equipment was damaged or if you have spoiled food because of Monday’s rolling outages, you can file a claim with HECO within 30 days by calling 543-4624.

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