Maui Electric to start construction of new Kaonoulu Substation

Release Date: 10/11/2017

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KAHULUI, Oct. 11, 2017 - Maui Electric Company will begin construction this month of the Kaonoulu Substation on the mauka side of Piilani Highway and Ohukai Road. Construction is scheduled to be completed by summer 2018. During construction, no extended interruptions to electrical service are anticipated and minimal impact to traffic is expected.

Approved by the state Public Utilities Commission in 2015, and following community meetings, the new substation will enable electricity to be reliably distributed to homes, schools, and businesses in the growing area of South Maui. It will also enable the integration of more renewable energy resources on the electric grid through improved monitoring and state-of-the-art communications equipment. Should an electrical circuit experience a fault, or an abnormal amount of electric current, this substation will give system operators the ability to isolate the problem to smaller sections on the system and prevent more widespread outages.

"As South Maui continues to develop, the Kaonoulu Substation will provide electricity to our growing communities in the area," said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric. "This ensures everyone - residents, businesses, schools, and resorts - will continue to receive reliable power when they need it."

Planned for the most optimal site to provide power to South Maui, the substation will sit on about one acre of land approximately 1,000 feet from the Piilani Highway. It is considered a "low-profile" substation that is built compactly and the equipment will not stand as tall as a "high-profile" substation like the one on Dairy Road in Kahului.

Based on community feedback, a portion of the substation's electrical lines will be underground. New lines will tap into the existing transmission and distribution lines currently running between the Maalaea and Kihei Substations on Kaiola Place, and go underground across Kaiola Place and Piilani Highway.

The new lines will then rise up mauka of Piilani Highway, where eight poles and about 1,000 feet of overhead lines will connect the substation to the electrical system. Landscaping that addresses security needs and aesthetics is currently being determined.

About 19,000 residential, business, and large commercial customers in the South Maui area are served by three substations. With more than 15 new projects expected, including the new Kihei high school and upcoming residential developments, the Kaonoulu Substation will help to provide the power needed to meet the growing energy needs of the community.