Monday, May 9, 2011

Electricity Travels at the Speed of Light. State PUC Is Sightly Slower.

On December 26, 2008, an island-wide outage occurred on Oahu during a severe lightning storm that resulted in a loss of electric service to HECO customers ranging from approximately 7 to 20 hours.

On January 12, 2009, the PUC initiated an investigation of the outage.

In March 2009, HECO submitted an outage report prepared by its expert consultant, which concluded that the island-wide outage was triggered by lightning strikes.

In January 2010, the Consumer Advocate submitted its Statement of Position that HECO could not have anticipated or prevented the outage through reasonable measures and could not have reasonably shortened the outage and restored power more quickly to customers. The Consumer Advocate further stated that penalties should not be assessed for the outage, but recommended that numerous studies be performed with the objective of preventing or minimizing the scope and duration of future power outages.

As of May 9, 2011, the PUC's investigation of the 2008 outage is still open.