MECO plans three meetings next week to discuss recent power outages with community

| January 21, 2014 | 8 Comments

Maui Electric Company will hold three meetings on Molokai to discuss the regular power outages that have affected thousands of customers.
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The first meeting will be next Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the Kualapu’u Elementary School cafeteria at 6 p.m. The following day, Wednesday, Jan. 29, there will be an East End meeting at Kilohana Community Center at 6 p.m. The final meeting, for those in central Molokai, will be at the Kulana ‘Oiwi halau on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served at all meetings.

Most recently, two power outages were reported on Jan. 14 — one on the West End and the other on the East End. The two unrelated outages affected more than 2,000 Molokai customers.

Previous to that, a fallen tree branch knocked out power to 1,800 customers on Jan. 7. The outage lasted almost three hours.

Three other power outages took place on Molokai on Dec. 19, 22 and 26, 2013.

Other smaller outages have also been reported from customers.

MECO has attributed some of these outages to trees or branches in power lines or equipment, vehicle pole accidents and electrical equipment problems. However, MECO reports that the cause of a few outages, including the two on Dec. 22 and 26, are still under investigation.

“What we do know is that a sudden decrease in frequency triggers the load shed scheme which automatically turns off power to certain circuits to avoid damaging the entire system,” said Joe Kentz, MECO’s transmission and distribution manager for MECO.

Category: Business, maui county, News

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  1. mkklolo says:

    Maybe if they spent some of the resources they blew on the new logo and the related tv ads on maintenance and upgrades…

  2. sam monet says:

    a micro grid would prevent this from happening

  3. Your neighbor in Kalae says:

    How much you wanna bet the only reason they’re having these meetings is because of the proposed Ikehu project. they are running scared of the competition so now they all of the sudden find the concept of customer service.

    too late.

    now if only we could get a competitor to Oceanic Time Warner Cable and Island Air…

  4. mkklolo says:

    They aren’t worried about competition from Ikehu…Ikehu just wants to sell cheaper electricity to MECO (not to us)…MECO can and will still screw us as much as they want, and pocket the profits for the executive bonus program.

    • Your neighbor in Kalae says:

      MKKLOLO –
      help me understand and let me clarify. What I meant was that the Ikehu would allow us to take one step closer to have our own utility like on Kauai and then MECO would be S.O.L. and Molokai money would stay on Molokai at least for our energy costs.

  5. mkklolo says:

    Why would Ikehu have any interest in getting into the transmission/distribution business on Molokai. They want nothing to do with the antiquated infrastrucure that is causing all the problems here. They just want to make and sell electricity to MECO and let them sort out all the trouble with the existing grid. In the mean time, MECO/HECO is spending big on rearranging the deck chairs (new logo…that is really going to fix the hole below the waterline).

    The Ikehu project does nothing to bring us closer to a coop utility. We would have to buy out Ikehu and their investors as well as MECO’s infrastructure. If there was some way for Molokai to become a major investor in Ikehu, that might be an approach. Could we get grants to do that? Hard to imagine.

    Is Kauai’s model something that we want to emulate? That needs a hard look before we jump.

    In Ikehu’s latest press release, they are back to looking at wind. Is this going to be a back door for Big Wind?

    Lots of questions, not many answers.

  6. molokainews says:

    Story Update: Today, MECO added a third meeting to be held next Thursday at Kulana ‘Oiwi, 6 p.m.

    Re: Ikehu Molokai. Wind power was always on the table since that’s what Princeton Energy has experience with. However, they have stated consistently from the beginning that the wind power component would ONLY be included if the community accepted and supported the idea. The one thing that has changed is the location of the PV panels. Based on the company’s most recent statement, they seem to be moving away from the idea of a giant array of panels above Manilla Camp. Many of the details on the latest plan have not yet been revealed … stay tuned.

    • mkklolo says:

      Agreed, that has always been the official line but the recent press release seems to be expanding the potential role for wind: “…we are now taking a broader approach. At this point, we are analyzing the full range of technology options for the project, including photovoltaics, solar thermal, biomass, wind, pumped storage hydroelectric, battery storage, and energy efficiency.”

      Seemed like at the Maunaloa meeting last month, the message from the community was pretty clear: “Windmill” is a dirty word!

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