HILO, Hawaii — Hawaiian Electric continues to urge Hawaii Island customers to reduce their electricity use to prevent the need for rolling outages.

In a news release Tuesday afternoon, the utility stated that Monday saw a reduced demand of approximately 5 megawatts. That, combined with increased wind and solar battery storage prevented the need for rolling blackouts on Monday. HECO credited conservation efforts, particularly those by large businesses and government customers, for the reduction in electricity demand. 

“We’re grateful for our customers’ efforts to conserve electricity, especially between 5 to 9 p.m., when electricity us is highest, because it does make a difference,” said Hawaiian Electric spokesperson Kristen Okinaka. “By working together, we’re helping to ensure that enough power can be available for all customers and prevent or minimize the impacts of rolling outages.”

Hawaiian Electric announced Monday afternoon that it may initiate rolling outages in parts of Hawaii Island because of the unavailability of several generators and lower than normal wind and solar resources.

In a news release, the utility said that outages could start as early as 6:30 p.m. and rotate around the island for 30-minute intervals. The impacted areas and the timing of the outages will be based on wind generation and the amount of electric demand that needs to be reduced. Individuals who are dependent on electrically powered life support medical equipment are advised to arrange for a backup power supply.

The outages are being done to prevent power loss to even more customers, who are all being asked to conserve electricity throughout the month.

Sunday night, 21,557 customers around the island experienced a 30-minute outage that began at 8:54 p.m. and ended at 9:59 p.m.

Hawaii Island residents are being asked to reduce their electricity use Monday. Hawaiian Electric sent out the advisory for its residential and business customers late Sunday evening.

The utility said in a news release that doing so will prevent the need for rolling outages. As of 11 p.m. Sunday night, 21,557 Hawaii Island customers experienced a 30-minute outage that lasted from 8:54 p.m. through 9:59 p.m.

What You Need To Know

  • Hawaiian Electric is asking Hawaii Island residents to conserve electricity Monday

  • More than 20,000 Hawaii Island customers experienced an approximately 30-minute outage Sunday night
  • Conserving energy, especially during high-demand hours of 5-9 p.m., will help prevent the need for rolling outages

  • Several power generators aren't available

HECO said that conserving electricity will help to ensure that there will be enough power available for all its customers, especially between the hours of 5 to 9 p.m., when energy consumption is at its highest.

It offered some suggestions on how to conserve energy, such as turning off air conditioners and water heaters, as well as delaying activities such as cooking, laundry, and dishwashing until late in the evening. More tips can be found here

The request for conservation is because several large generators aren’t available. HECO’s Hill 5 steam unit tripped offline Saturday, while its Puna steam unit and CT-1 combustion turbine are under repair. The Keahole CT-5 unit is undergoing its annual overhaul and is expected to return to service at the end of April.

Combined, these units produce approximately 62 megawatts of electricity. Additionally, Hamakua Energy, an independent power producer, is offline. Wind and solar resources are also forecast to be lower than normal.

Hawaiian Electric issued a request for Hawaii Island customers to use less electricity through the end of April because of the unavailability of the large generators. 

Information on conservation and rolling outage alerts and updates will be posted on the company’s Facebook (HawaiianElectric) and X (@HIElectricLight) accounts. The Hawaii County Civil Defense also will send emergency alerts through local radio and its Everbridge emergency notification system.

Editor's note: The article has been updated with a request for conintued conservation of electricity usage through Tuesday. (April 16, 2024)