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HECO begins deactivating its downtown power plant

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 02:15 p.m. HST, Jan 31, 2014

Hawaiian Electric Co. said it began deactivating its downtown power plant today, nearly a century after the generating station first started providing electricity.

"Thanks to the tremendous growth in renewable energy and more efficient use of electricity by our customers, we're able to deactivate older, oil-fired generating units," said Ron Cox, Hawaiian Electric's vice president of power supply.

 The plant's history dates back to 1920 when the site at Halekauwila and Alakea Streets was first constructed, the company said. Its location was particularly meaningful, as it sits at the harbor where whaling vessels once off-loaded the oil that was used to power the city's lamps.

"The full deactivation process will take several months. The plant's two generating units must be cleaned and the equipment must be preserved to protect it from corrosion. The careful and deliberate process and appropriate preparation ensures the two units can be reactivated during emergency situations," the company said.

"By contrast, 'retirement' or 'decommission' means a generating unit is permanently removed from service and no longer available for use under any circumstances."

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dlum003 wrote:
wow, what happens to all the employees?
on January 31,2014 | 02:17PM
mineeyes wrote:
They get deactivated or possible decommissioned. Some will have the option of maintaining the upcoming 50 acre Solar PV plant at the Kahe power plant.
on January 31,2014 | 02:26PM
lwandcah wrote:
So does that mean we should all be expecting a cut in our rates being that there is one less plant to operate and maintain? What is your guess?
on January 31,2014 | 02:23PM
rytsuru wrote:
Of course not! We are going to be charged (surcharge is the new euphemism I guess) for the whole deactivation process since this kind of thing isn't a revenue generator for HECO.
on January 31,2014 | 03:29PM
Kealii wrote:
Amazing how people jump to conclusions without knowing a single fact. Not faulting the people with questions, just the bozos who think they know the answers and share their ignorance trying to make everyone else as dumb as they are. As far as the current Honolulu employees go, I believe an earlier article said many of them are being re-assigned and/or offered other positions within the company. Then regarding our electric bills, HECO previously said that as they begin moving away from fossil fuels they expect that our bills will be lowered sometime this year. Exactly when and how much wasn't mentioned although HECO did say that they're saving $8 million by deactivating the Honolulu plant.
on January 31,2014 | 04:07PM
2NDC wrote:
Sure wish they would pass on the savings to us. No substantial drop in my bill so far. Seems like it only gets more and more expensive each year. :-(
on January 31,2014 | 04:33PM
Coldwater wrote:
hmmm, if there are ever rolling black outs, just thank green energy and say you are doing your part to stop global warming. :)
on January 31,2014 | 04:28PM
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