The wind farm mills along Ulupalakua Ranch quit working for a while today. Maui Electric Company says 19,258 customers lost power today at 12:34 p.m. for about 20 minutes when the Auwahi Wind Farm tripped offline resulting in a sudden and severe loss of wind generation on Maui Electric’s system.
The electrical system, which runs optimally at 60 hertz, dropped to about 15 hertz when 20.7 megawatts of power from Auwahi Wind went offline. The result was a brief flicker for some, a “brown out” for some and lights out for others.
As a result, MECO was forced to “load shed” customers in order to protect and stabilize Maui’s electrical grid. Presumably that means shutting down as many customers as it takes to operate efficiently for as many customers as possible until the windmills were powering again.
Customers affected included parts of Lahaina, Kihei, Kula, Pukalani, Speckelsville and Makawao to Hana. All customers were brought back online at 12:57 p.m.
No word yet on why the wind farm tripped off. The Auwahi Wind Farm is hidden from view from most areas of Maui.
UPDATE: MECO reports that power has been restored to all Moloka’i customers as of 7:09 a.m. today.
Maui Electric Company would like to inform the public that the Parts of Kaunakakai Molokai is experiencing a power outage. Maui Electric is working to identify the cause and restore electrical service as quickly and safely as possible.
An update will be provided as soon as more information becomes available. MECO expressed thanks for your patience and understanding.
Maui Electric crews have been busy in Central Maui this afternoon. In a 90-minute span, a large portion of Wailuku lost electrical power not once – but twice.
The first outage was around 2:45 p.m.. MECO had everyone back on within 30 minutes. But then – more flickering and a similar-sized outage cut the lights shortly after 4 p.m. This time electric order was restored within 15 minutes.
MECO expressed thanks for the patience of powerless customers – and has not released any details of the cause of the two blackouts.
UPDATE: Power has been restored to all Waikapu customers as of 3:34 p.m.
Maui Electric Company would like to inform the public that the Waikapu area is experiencing a power outage. Maui Electric is working to identify the cause and restore electrical service as quickly and safely as possible. The outage was first reported at 11:37 a.m. today.
An update will be provided as soon as more information becomes available. Thank you for your patience and understanding
UPDATE: As of 1 p.m. today, all customers have been restored to power.
For the second straight morning, power has been lost to Hana and surrounding areas. Maui Electric is working on the issue and will issue an update as soon as they identify the cause.
The outage may be related to the issue that led to MECO’s plan to replace utility poles in Pa’ia this weekend. See that story, below.
WAILUKU – The County of Maui’s Department of Environmental Management reports that a wastewater overflow of approximately 1,250 gallons occurred on February 14, in Wailuku.
The overflow was reported at 8:40 a.m. and was stopped by 9:20 a.m.
The overflow was caused by equipment malfunction at Waiehu Pump Station, when power was lost due to strong winds in the area. Gusts neared 50 mph Saturday morning in Central and West Maui. The wastewater flowed from a manhole fronting the Waiehu Pump Station on Akake Street, and flowed along the roadway into a storm drain.
The good news is that the overflow did not reach the ocean. The not-so-good news is that the spill was prevented from reaching the ocean because the storm drain was completely blocked with sand. The spill site was disinfected and the State Department of Health was notified.
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