Hawaiian Electric (HECO) has lifted their request for Oahu residents to conserve electricity use Thursday evening.
Earlier in the day, HECO asked Oahu customers to conserve power, especially between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., as hot, muggy conditions drove up the use of power.
Demand for electricity reached a six-year high Wednesday night, likely due to increased use of air conditioning across the island. In addition, light winds have limited production from the two wind farms on the North Shore.
“We thank our customers for their understanding and cooperation. This hot, humid weather is uncomfortable, but every little bit of energy we conserve makes a difference,” said Darren Pai, Hawaiian Electric spokesman.
Although Hawaiian Electric anticipates it will be able to serve the evening peak demand for electricity, available backup generation reserves will be very low. Should demand for electricity remain high and an unplanned loss of generation occurs, power outages may be necessary.
All available generating units at Hawaiian Electric’s Kahe, Waiau and Campbell Industrial Park generation stations are operating. In addition, other independent power producers are operating normally, including AES, Kalaeloa Partners and H-POWER.
As a precaution, to ensure sufficient power is available to meet the early evening peak demand for electricity, Hawaiian Electric is asking customers to conserve energy. The time between 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. is especially critical, when customer usage normally climbs due to early evening cooking, bathing and other activities. Suggested steps include: turning off or lessening use of air conditioners, delaying hot showers and dishwashing activities, and minimizing cooking until later in the evening.
System operators will also work on further reducing the demand for power by using Hawaiian Electric’s demand response programs. These voluntary programs help lower the overall use of electricity by reducing the energy output of certain appliances or equipment, such as water heaters for participating residential customers and non-essential lighting and heating or cooling systems for participating commercial customers.