HELCO Aerial Line Inspections Next Week and Update on Albizia Tree Removal

To improve system reliability, Hawaii Electric Light Company will conduct aerial line inspections of its major overhead transmission lines from Monday, July 11, to Thursday, July 14, 2016.

The islandwide inspections are scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. However, exact times and routes will depend on weather conditions. Inspections will be conducted in a Manuiwa Airways helicopter and require the aircraft to fly low and slow which may cause some noise disturbances.

Hawaii Electric Light apologizes for any disruptions this may cause and sincerely thanks the community for their cooperation and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

In a new partnership to reduce the threat of falling albizia trees on roads and utility lines, Hawaii Electric Light Company and the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) are working together to clear thousands of the invasive trees across Hawaii Island.

HELCO AlbiziaUnder the terms of a memorandum of understanding, Hawaii Electric Light will oversee $1.5 million in work by contractors over the next year to clear albizia, focusing on areas where trees threaten both state highways and utility equipment.

Since Tropical Storm Iselle struck the island in 2014, Hawaii Electric Light has spent an estimated $14 million to clear trees and other vegetation that may damage power lines. The utility has cleared nearly 94,000 trees over the past two years, including 31,000 albizia.

Albizia, an invasive species in Hawaii, is known as one of the fastest growing trees in the world and is capable of reaching 200 feet. With broad, shallow root systems, the trees and their brittle limbs easily fall during strong winds. Iselle blew down thousands of albizia, blocking roads, toppling power lines and causing extended outages affecting thousands.

“In the aftermath of Iselle, we saw the devastating impact that fallen trees had on our communities and our customers. By working with the state DOT and doing this work now, we know we can reduce these risks,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light president.

“We greatly appreciate the partnership with Hawaii Electric Light Company on this important venture, which will help keep roadways open and utility lines connected,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation director.

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