HELCO: No power shortfall expected

  • The Puna Geothermal Venture plant was shut down in the wake of the eruption on Mohala Street. Courtesy photo

KAILUA-KONA — Hawaii Electric Light Co. does not expect a shortfall in power generation despite an emergency shutdown of a Puna geothermal power plant.

The company said in a medial release that Puna Geothermal Venture, which can generate up to 38 megawatts of power, was shut down in the wake of an eruption on Mohala Street in Leilani Estates.

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The plant is just under three quarters of a mile from the northern end of that street.

Despite the shutdown, a HELCO media release said the company expects sufficient power.

Utility personnel, meanwhile, were on the scene Friday evening after crews were deployed to disconnect power in areas affected by the lava flow.

Although areas near Mohala Street were without power as a result of the flow, crews were working to reroute power to keep power up for parts of Leilani Estates not affected by the lava.

“We will continue to work closely with Civil Defense to monitor and assess the situation,” said HELCO spokeswoman Rhea Lee-Moku in a release. “We strongly encourage the community to be safe and heed the advice of Civil Defense and first responders.”

Those evacuating should shut off electricity at the main breaker, unplug electric equipment and appliances and call 969-6999 to request a disconnect or transfer of service.

An emergency preparedness handbook, offering information on preparing a home and family for emergencies, can be found at www.hawaiielectriclight.com.

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It is available in English, Cantonese, Ilocano, Korean and Vietnamese.

New developments from the company will be posted to the company’s website, Facebook page and Twitter page.