Punahou Shuts Down Campus to Compensate for Carnival

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The Punahou Carnival is using a lot of electricity for the next two days. But the school is doing something to make sure it doesn't overload the system.

The school had a power surge or outage overnight, and officials took it as a warning, so they turned off all of the classrooms, to make sure the carnival could go on.

"In light of HECO's problems that they've had the last couple of days, and with carnival being such a major event, we felt that we should try do our part and try and decrease our loads," said Randy Overton, Punahou's assistant director of facilities.

Classrooms are empty. Lights, computers, and air conditioners are all off.

The rides have their own generators but game and food booths take power from the school's grid. Those lights are running for two days virtually non-stop, enough electricity to power four homes.

"What we are saving by powering down the school is significantly more than what the carnival is using," said Overton.

Many of these buildings are old, so crews can't cut power to certain parts. In the past, people were still working, so power to the entire building was kept on. But because of the current power situation, shutting down these buildings will help prevent any problems.

"We are serviced by one primary feed that comes in off Punahou street, so regardless what we hook up into it or tie into it, it's still one feed, and if that overloads, that will trip," said Overton.

And the last thing the school wants to do is put the carnival, and their neighbors, in the dark. School officials say this is serving as a good lesson -- that they should be more proactive, and power down the school on a regular basis, rather than having HECO's generators shut down.