Hawaiian Electric Warns Of Future Energy Crunch - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaiian Electric Warns Of Future Energy Crunch

Martha Thurman Martha Thurman
Peter Rosegg Peter Rosegg

By Kristine Uyeno

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The power is on for Oahu residents after a very close call. One of Hawaiian Electric's independent power producer -- AES Hawaii -- experienced problems.

Three generating units were down for scheduled maintenance and sea grass blocked intake valves at the Kahe Power Plant cut down on production. Energy officials urged customers to conserve and many listened.

"We're all trying to do our part and if we all just do a little bit then I think it will all work out," said Martha Thurman, a Mililani resident.

HECO avoids outages now, but what's next?

"We're putting in some small emergency generators on some of our remote substations so when we have emergencies, we can turn those up," said Peter Rosegg, a Hawaiian Electric spokesman.

They're also looking at options for renewable energy and asking University of Hawaii staff members how to contain sea grass in the future. But HECO said this won't be the last time they ask customers to conserve to avoid power outages.

"If were in a situation where were afraid were going to go to these measures, we want to give as much warning as we can," said Rosegg.

Because demands for energy have skyrocketed over the past few years, HECO said we'll be in this energy crunch until for at least two more years. In 2009, a new power plant will be up and running at Campbell Industrial Park.

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