- Hawaii Electric Light is working with the Hawaii County Civil Defense and other agencies to keep the lights on as lava flowing from the Kilauea volcano threatens power lines and residences.
- The utility said it has yet to experience a power interruption due to the lava flow, but said a utility pole along Apaa Street is beginning to show the impacts of the lava's heat. The company said it has also relocated a large diesel generator to Puna and will be moving a second large diesel generator to the same location.
- The utility is working on contingency plans, including relocating a portion of its primary distribution line onto two taller poles installed under a joint pole agreement with Hawaiian Telcom.
In an update to customers, Hawaii Electric Light said crews were working to extend a distribution line on Government Beach Road to provide power to Hawaiian Beaches should existing lines located closer to Highway 130 become inoperable.
Those units will be able to provide power for the lower portion of Puna if the section is cut off from the rest of the island grid, the utility said. But the lava, which has been flowing slowly for weeks, is beginning to threaten the utility's power lines.
"This morning, our technical experts found the pole that was surrounded by lava had sunk about ten feet and either steam or smoke was coming through the cinder piled around the pole. We suspect the pole is burning slowly at the ground level," said spokesperson Rhea Lee.
The utility cooled the pole and a protective barrier with water and said it will continue to monitor the condition of the pole.
"As a precautionary measure, we took the transmission line out of service while we evaluated the situation and cooled the pole. We put this line back in service this afternoon. However, we were able to keep power on for all customers through an alternative transmission line," Lee said.