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State briefs for July 23

Electric company on Maui sees decade-high rise in demand

WAILUKU, Maui — The Maui Electric Co. is experiencing the highest energy demand it has had in more than 10 years, officials said.

The company cites increased use of fans and air conditioning throughout an ongoing heat wave among the likely reasons.

“These are the highest peaks we have seen for Maui in their respective months in over a decade,” company spokeswoman Shayna Decker said.

Energy peaks have been climbing each month since spring, with July producing the biggest demand so far this year, the company said.

National Weather Service data indicates the heat wave began in April, when eight record-breaking days of high temperatures occurred in the Kahului area on Maui.

The increased energy demand is possibly caused by home cooling units being turned to higher levels and left on longer, Decker said.

“Maybe a household has more guests visiting or kids back from school during the summer, which results in more overall electricity usage,” she said.

In general, evenings have higher energy demands because people return from work or school and use more electricity by watching television, taking showers or using household appliances. Energy demands usually peak between 5 and 9 p.m., the company said.

A lack of wind has also required more of the company’s power generators.

“On particular hot, humid nights, there’s also low to no wind energy and no solar energy resources to use on the system, so the island’s generators are running more and for longer periods of time,” Decker said.

Utility says most of a Hawaiian island is without power

HONOLULU — A utility company that serves about 33,000 customers on Kauai reported that power was out on most of the island Sunday.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative said in a Facebook post Sunday that it was trying to determine the cause of the problem and expected it would take at least two hours before power was restored.

Residents of the island, which has a population of about 72,000 people, said on social media that it appeared much of the island was without power.

Kauai last had a major power outage in November 2018 because of a technical problem at the utility cooperative.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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