The White House said the money will improve service and limit damage during future events.

The Department of Energy will provide $95 million toward mitigating the future impact of fires on Hawaii’s electrical infrastructure.

The funds will be dispersed statewide, but a White House announcement Wednesday said the money will enable the relocation of the Maui electricity control center to a “more secure and resilient location”.

Transmission lines – including two on Maui – will be hardened and wooden poles will be replaced by fire-resistant materials. The extent of the replacement is unclear, but poles that supply critical facilities such as hospitals and emergency response centers would be upgraded, the administration said.

Hazardous tree removal and the installation of additional intelligent power switches are also part of the package.

“This investment will help reduce the likelihood of outages, reduce restoration times following outages, reduce risk of wildfire events, and increase grid operational resilience,” The White House said.

The funds are provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the DOE will be working closely with the Hawaii State Energy Office and other state agencies.

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