HECO to remove 14,000 poles over next decade

(Image: Hawaiian Electric Companies)
(Image: Hawaiian Electric Companies)
Published: Nov. 2, 2018 at 11:17 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Over the next decade, poles will start disappearing from neighborhoods statewide.

On Friday, HECO announced it had acquired Hawaiian Telcom’s ownership interest in 120,000 utility poles on Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and the Big Island.

The plan: “To provide a more efficient and effective administration of pole infrastructure.”

That includes removing unnecessary “double poles” — about 14,000 in all — over the next decade.

HECO also hopes its pole maintenance plan reduces and shortens outages through faster pole repair.

“In the nearly 100 years since the first joint pole agreement, our businesses and maintenance practices have changed dramatically,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO, in a news release.

“This new arrangement will help both companies as well as other stakeholders move safely and quickly in using the poles to deploy new equipment to provide services that will improve the lives of our customers.”

Under the approved arrangement, Hawaiian Telcom transferred ownership interest in the jointly-owned poles to HECO in exchange for $48 million in credit against past and future charges for attaching to the poles.

On Oahu, the joint ownership arrangement dates back to 1922.

In addition to the joint poles, the Hawaiian Electric Companies own 100 percent interest in 50,000 additional poles not affected by this agreement.

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