(BIVN) – Public input is being sought on a proposed electrical transmission line relocation within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The project is being coordinated with Hawaiian Electric, referred to as HELCO in a news release.
From the National Park Service:
The project includes an area between Piʻi Mauna Drive and the Hilo-side park boundary near Old Volcano Road. The project is considered Phase 3 of HELCO’s efforts to upgrade and harden the 3400 Line, which spans from Puna to just outside the park’s boundary on the Kaʻū side.
Phase 1 and 2 of the project included an area between the Kīlauea Switching Station outside the Kaʻū-side boundary of the park to Piʻi Mauna Drive within the park. It was completed in 2020.
The primary purpose of the project is to relocate, upgrade, and bring up to code the sub-transmission electric utility poles and power lines. The update will improve capacity, lower impedance, and make the poles and lines more resistant to weather events.
Existing poles and lines are located along a corridor with hazardous terrain, including earth cracks and lava tubes. Maintenance and repairs are currently difficult and unsafe. Relocating the line along the highway will also help reduce potential impacts to the forested areas in HVNP.
HVNP says it is working closely with Hawaiian Electric and Tetra Tech, Inc. “to develop and analyze alternatives, develop mitigation measures, and conduct consultations.” Two main actions are proposed:
- Relocate the existing power line by installing new poles and transmission and distribution lines along 2.6 miles of Highway 11; and
- Remove and/or decommission approximately 2.6 miles of existing poles and transmission and distribution lines within the current power line alignment in HVNP.
Comments sent or received by the January 14, 2024, deadline will be considered in a draft environmental assessment. The National Park Service says there are three ways to provide input on the proposed project:
- Online: Visit parkplanning.nps.gov for project information to submit your comment online.
- Email: Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hard copy: Mail written comments to the following address:
Attn: 3400 Phase 3 Power Line Relocation
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
P.O. Box 52
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718-0052