Electric Company Responds to Recent Power Interruptions

Hawaii Electric Light reports that customers in various areas around the island experienced brief power interruptions this week.

Hawaiian Electric Company Logo

The interruptions occurred on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday evening when a unit at the company’s Keahole Power Plant tripped offline. An estimated 12,000 customers were without power for about five minutes each time until backup generators were started.

“We understand that power outages are disruptive, and we sincerely apologize to our customers who were inconvenienced by these interruptions,” said spokeswoman Kristen Okinaka.

Managing an electric utility grid is a challenging and intricate process. It requires carefully balancing generation with load. Most utility grids occasionally experience a sudden loss of generation. This could occur when a generator unexpectedly trips offline or when weather conditions significantly reduce the amount of energy produced from renewable resources.

Hawaii Electric Light’s system operators work hard to maintain the reliability of the grid. However, when generation changes very quickly, protective devices automatically disconnect loads to help maintain service for the majority of customers. This is called Under Frequency Load Shedding. Some customers will experience a temporary, short power interruption while backup generators are started.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience during the past week,” Okinaka said. “We want to assure our customers that we have sufficient generation to continue to serve our community.” Updates on power outages and restoration efforts can be found on Hawaii Electric Light’s Twitter account: @HIElectricLight. To report a power outage, please call (808) 969-6666.

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