Hawaiian Electric begins restoration work in Lahaina at request of Maui Emergency Operations Center
Temporary equipment to provide safe, reliable power to essential services, surrounding neighborhoods
News Release from HEI, 9/21/2023
KAHULUI, Sept. 21, 2023 – In continued partnership with federal, state and county agencies, and with the clearance to re-enter parts of Lahaina, Maui emergency management officials have asked Hawaiian Electric to start replacing poles and other electrical equipment that were damaged by the windstorms and wildfires in and around Lahaina. This work will restore power to wastewater pumps and telecommunication services and improve electrical service reliability to surrounding residents and neighborhoods.
The work involves the installation of temporary poles, transformers, power lines and other equipment in and around the Lahaina area to provide safe and reliable power while long-term, community-driven plans are developed for future energy needs. This temporary infrastructure would not preclude the possibility of underground utilities in the future.
The County of Maui through its Emergency Operations Center (Maui EOC) and Maui Emergency Management Agency has requested this utility work to begin in the upcoming weeks to restore county wastewater pumps that service the area. A central office in the Lahaina town area for telecommunication services could also be restored to grid power once Hawaiian Electric completes repairs to the area.
The work also enables the interim rebuilding of two backup circuits that can reroute power to customers and neighborhoods in the Puamana, Launiupoko to Olowalu area, and mauka of the Lahaina Bypass. Currently, without these backup circuits, customers in these areas may experience extended outages any time there is a disturbance because power cannot be rerouted from either of the two temporary mobile substations installed by Hawaiian Electric last month.
Since Aug. 25, power has been restored to more than 95 percent of Maui customers who lost electricity in West Maui and Upcountry. In West Maui, all affected customers who can be restored at this time are back online. The remaining areas of the Lahaina area that are without power are currently under the jurisdiction of the Maui EOC. Hawaiian Electric is awaiting approval from the Maui EOC before it can restore additional customers in these restricted-access areas. For more information on these currently restricted areas in West Maui, see the County of Maui website www.mauirecovers.org.