HECO asks residents to conserve power as crews repair storm-damaged equipment

HECO asks residents to conserve power as crews repair storm-damaged equipment
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Oahu residents are being asked to conserve power Friday night in order to reduce the risk of rolling blackouts, Hawaiian Electric said.

Customers are being asked to keep power usage to a minimum from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

HECO said the hot, humid weather combined with storm-damaged equipment means that “brief, rolling blackouts” might be necessary if the utility loses another large generating unit.

Officials said stormy weather Friday morning damaged transmission lines that carry power from two wind-generating units. Several generators are also offline or at minimal output because of damage.

Repairs are underway, but the utility is worried that they might not be complete by Friday night.

Peak power usage is usually in the early evening hours ― when most people are at home ― and that’s when HECO is asking customers to use as little electricity as possible.

They’re suggesting going out to dinner, turning off the AC and postponing laundry.

“If we were to lose another large generating unit during the peak hours, we would be in an emergency situation and would have to begin brief rolling blackouts,” HECO spokesperson Jim Kelly said.

“With everyone’s help we can ensure we have enough power available. This is an unusual situation and we appreciate the support of our customers ― every bit we conserve really helps."

This story will be updated.

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