Residents may be hit by power shortage

LIHU’E — A mechanical malfunction in Lihue Plantation’s power-generating unit

that provides power to Kauai Electric has forced shut-down of the unit. As a

result, KE is running all of its power-producing units during peak usage

periods.

A technician was flown in from the Mainland this weekend to assess

the damage to LP’s unit. If parts need to be manufactured and flown in, repairs

could take 30 days or longer, said KE Vice President and General Manager Denny

Polosky.

LP’s unit is the third-largest on the island.

If one of KE’s

major power-producing units goes down before LP’s unit is back on line, KE may

not have enough power to supply the entire island.

If that happens, KE

plans to ask major users who have their own emergency backup generators to use

the generators during periods of high usage, or otherwise voluntarily cut down

on the amount of electricity used.

But Polosky said asking residents to

voluntarily cut down on electric usage is not an option — yet.

“Well, I

hope it doesn’t go there, but I think we have to be prepared just in case. We

always have a contingency plan to do something else,” he said.

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