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MECO Identifies Cause of South Maui Power Outage

Posted September 6, 2012, 04:08 PM HST Updated September 7, 2012, 05:30 PM HST
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Maui Electric Company offices in Kahului. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Officials with Maui Electric Company have determined the cause of Wednesday’s power outage that knocked out electricity to some 13,000 customers in South Maui.

“Following an investigation of the power outage that occurred yesterday in Kihei and Wailea, Maui Electric determined that during testing of substation equipment at MECO’s Kealahou Substation, a switch was inadvertently left closed which resulted in an automatic relay scheme that opened the circuits that provide power to our Kihei and Wailea customers, resulting in the subsequent power outage,” said MECO spokesperson Kau’i Awai-Dickson.

Awai-Dickson said protection relay equipment is essential to the safe operation of the transmission and distribution system.

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Officials say MECO is taking a closer look and reevaluating procedures to prevent recurrence of this type of incident.

“We know that this situation was an inconvenience for our customers in South Maui and we sincerely apologize,” said Awai-Dickson.

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