8 Jul 2004

Rarotonga could face blackouts, says power provider

3:47 pm on 8 July 2004

Rarotonga has been warned it could face power blackouts if electricity consumption is not reduced during evening peak periods this week.

The island's sole electricity provider Te Aponga Uira has appealed to the public to reduce consumption between 6pm and 8:30pm on weekdays after three of its six generators started experiencing problems last week.

The company's Chief Executive Officer, Apii Timoti, says while the remaining generators can meet demand, they have made the appeal as a precaution.

He says they always try and make sure they have some buffer in case they experience major load fluctuations.

"So to avoid any of that happening and the possibility of us having to blackout certain areas, we thought we would go out and ask the public to cooperate, because the design of our system is such if you need to shed say one hundred kilowatts, the design of our system doesn't allow us to do this, so we thought, we would ask the people to take off those hundreds to save knocking off a one thousand kilowat feeder"

Apii Timoti says he's confident all three engines will be back on line within the next two weeks.