HECO Warns of Rolling Blackouts

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Due to a shortage of reserve generation capacity, Hawaiian Electric Companymay be forced to turn off power to selected areas of Oahu beginning at about 6:30 PM Thursday in order to protect the electrical system and avoid an unplanned loss of power to an even greater number of the island's 292,000 customers.

Residents and businesses are asked to help by conserving electricity during the peak use time of 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM by putting off heavy use of electricity like running dish washers, clothes washers and dryers and unnecessary air conditioning.

If selected outages become necessary, they will occur in parts of Windward Oahu (but not Castle Hospital), North Central Oahu around Waialua (not including Wahiawa Hospital) and East Oahu from Kahala to Waimanalo. The outages should be limited to about two hours.

"While we currently have enough power to meet expected demand, the unexpected loss of another generating unit, could cause demand for power to exceed the available supply during the evening peak.  We are closely managing the power generation situation and if we have to, will initiate these outages to protect the electrical system and prevent overloading and damaging the generators which could mean even longer, more widespread outages and more expensive repairs," said Lynne Unemori, HECO's vice president of Corporate Relations.