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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:30 a.m., Friday, November 29, 2002

Hamakua power failure affects 2,500

By Vicki Viotti
Advertiser Staff Writer

The second power failure in a week at the Hamakua Energy Partners plant this morning has left about 2,500 Hawaii Electric Light Co. customers without power, even after the plant generators were restarted.

The plant, in Haina near Honoka'a, went offline at 4:38 a.m. and were restarted, but a switching problem kept the affected customers in the North Kona area without power this morning, said Jay Ignacio, HELCO distribution manager.

Ignacio said technicians are investigating to determine whether the plant tripped off because of a short-circuit elsewhere in the system.

The most recent failure at the same plant occurred just after 8 a.m. Nov. 23.

The cutback in Puna Geothermal Venture is due to begin production at a new well in December but until then has cut back on power, which has left HELCO operating with a thin power-generation margin.

The utility warned of rolling blackouts earlier this month and has experienced a series of outages.