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Maui Electric customers asked to conserve energy after wildland fire damages grid

  • COURTESY JESSICA CADDEN

    Smoke from a massive wildland fire on Maui was seen from the beach. Maui Electric is asking Valley Isle customers to conserve electricity this evening, especially between 5 to 9 p.m., after the wildland fire damaged the electrical grid.

Maui Electric is asking Valley Isle customers to conserve electricity this evening, especially between 5 to 9 p.m., after the wildland fire damaged the electrical grid.

“We thank our customers for their understanding and cooperation as crews make repairs,” said Mat McNeff, director of Maui County for Maui Electric in a news release. “This hot, humid weather is uncomfortable and we understand that it can be inconvenient to cut back on electricity. We appreciate everyone’s help.”

At about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, the transmission line running from the Maalaea Power Plant to Kihei was damaged by the fire.

Maui Electric is currently providing service on a redundant line but is asking customers to help conserve electricity while crews assess the damaged transmission line and make necessary repairs.

Maui Electric said it expects to have enough generating capacity available to meet the evening peak demand. However, public energy conservation can help ensure sufficient power is available to meet that demand.

The company is also asking larger, commercial customers to voluntarily reduce their electricity usage.

Suggested steps that customers can take include turning off or lessening the use of air conditioners, delaying hot showers, laundry, dishwashing activities and minimizing cooking until later in the evening.

Currently, no generating facilities are directly affected by the fire, according to Maui Electric, and crews are taking preventative measures at the Maalaea Generating Station.

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