Kauai's Power Utility Implementing Rolling Blackouts In Wake of Islandwide Outage

Jul 21, 2019

Updated: July 22, 5:45 p.m.

Kauai'i Island Utility Coopeative says a cable failure caused its Kapaia generating unit to trip offline on Sunday, leading to an islandwide outage. The unit is expected to be back in service by the end of the week.

Other smaller generators were offline at the time due to maintenance and repairs. 

"“We’ve made good progress today in returning one of our Port Allen diesel generators back into service, and the Green Energy Team biomass plant is now capable of operating up to full capacity,” said David Bissell, KIUC’s president and chief executive officer. Another generator is expected to be repaired when parts arrive from the mainland Tuesday.

Rolling backouts will continue Monday evening until 11 p.m. and possibly extend into Tuesday morning. Users can expect at least four hours of power followed by an outage no more than 30 minutes, the utility said.

Updated: July 22, 9:28 a.m.

Kauai residents were again asked to conserve energy as the island's power utility implements rolling blackouts Monday. The temporary outages occurred from 11:30 p.m. Sunday night through 7:30 a.m. Monday. More may be needed, the utility warned.

About 5,900 users in Lāwaʻi, Anini, Puhi, Kapahi and Princeville experienced a rolling outage overnight. Monday morning, 10,000 in Kekaha to Princeville saw rolling outages between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. KIUC plans continuing rolling blackouts through the day and expects these will continue at least through Tuesday morning.

An approaching storm could reduce productivity from solar power resources, the utility also noted.

Residents can read updates on the utilityʻs Facebook page.

Updated: July 22, 6:55 a.m.

Kauai's power cooperative says it will implement rolling blackouts Monday morning following an islandwide outage Sunday that knocked out its largest generating unit. The rolling blackouts could continue Monday night and Tuesday.

The islandwide outage occurred at about 2:30 p.m. when the main generating unit at the Kapaia Power Station experienced a fault, the utility said. Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative is investigating the cause of the fault.

At about 4:30 p.m., roughly 90 percent of the power cooperative's members had their electricity restored.  KIUC serves 33,000 members and all were affected, said Beth Tokioka, communications manager.

The outage also impacted the KIUC's phone system.

Monday's rolling blackouts will continue through 10 a.m. but users should brace for more of the same later in the day.

"We expect the rolling blackouts to occur this evening between 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. and again tomorrow morning if there isn't ample sunlight to carry the morning load," said Brad Rockwell, KIUC's power supply manager in a Monday media advisory.

Other generating units are also offline for maintenance or repairs, contributing to the power generating shortage.

The rolling blackouts should be short, the utility said, with outages of no more than 30 minutes. KIUC asked its members to conserve power.