Hawaiian Electric cancels call to conserve power

Hawaiian Electric cancels call to conserve power [10 pm Update]

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Electric ended its call for conservation across Oahu that was prompted by problems at two power plants. A spokesman said that muggy weather also increased air conditioning use, drawing more electricity. The peak period from 5 to 9 p.m. passed without any blackouts.

"The reserves are so thin right now that we have to ask our customers to help," said Hawaiian Electric spokesman Darren Pai earlier in the evening.

Independent power producer Kalaeloa Partners usually supplies 208 megawatts of generation, but its plant suddenly went out of service around 7 p.m. on Sunday.

"We are working very closely with Kalaeloa Partners to identify the problem and try and fix it and get everything back online," said Pai.

Crews have restored half of the plant's output, which leaves Hawaiian Electric roughly 10% short on power that is used during the peak period in the evening.

A 90 megawatt generator which also broke at Hawaiian Electric's Waiau Power Plant was brought back online at about 8:30 in the evening.

"We have an ongoing maintenance program, not only at our generating units, but the companies that sell us power also have their own maintenance programs. These were really two unexpected problems that developed unfortunately occurred at the same time," said Pai.

Pai said it's unusual to have multiple generators down.

"It doesn't happen very often, but it has happened on occasion in the past," he said. "What we want to do is get these generators back online, back into service so we'll have all the generation reserves that are necessary and everybody can proceed with using electricity the way they normally do."

With the light winds, other sources of power such as wind farms weren't expected to produce enough electricity to help.

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