Transmission structures get replaced to make sure your lights stay on

Published  6:19 PM HST Oct 01, 2012
HECO employees
HONOLULU -

Hawaiian Electric Company has been working on the Ko'olau ridge for about a month now. They are trying to upgrade Oahu's power grid. Workers say it is a difficult project and takes accuracy to get the job done.

Project engineer, Sarie Uechi, said, "The weather changes in a blink of the eye and we just have trees, so maybe there's a ply wood nailed to a couple guava trees, but that's pretty much it. So you pack your rain gear, pack some food and just hope for the best."

"This is a critical part of the system, it's a backbone for the entire electric system. So we make sure it's as secure, and strong as possible," said spokesperson for Hawaii Electric, Darren Pai.

The company is replacing six transmission structures. The old aluminum poles installed in 1965 are coming down, and new stronger steel poles are going up.

"The new structures are designed to withstand higher hurricane type winds 100 mph plus. They are stronger and more robust," said Uechi.

The steel poles need less maintenance since they are self supporting.

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