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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:42 p.m., Thursday, November 7, 2002

Big Island residents asked to conserve electric power

Associated Press

HILO A temporary shortage of generators has led Hawaii Electric Light Co. to asked its Big Island customers to conserve electric use in order to avoid rolling blackouts over the next few days.

Hamakua Energy Partners will be shutting down its two generating units from Friday through Sunday to fix its boiler, HELCO spokesman Jay Ignacio said.

HEP delayed the work as long as possible because several of HELCO's primary producers of electricity are down for maintenance or repairs, he said.

HELCO expects to have an adequate amount of power over the weekend. But the company said if another large generator should go down unexpectedly, it could lead to rolling blackouts.

The most critical time is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. when the demand on the Big Island's power grid is the greatest, Ignacio said.