Ford Island 46 kV Underground Line

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Client: Hawaiian Electric Company
Location: Hawaii, USA

POWER Engineers was hired by Hawaiian Electric Company to conduct a power delivery feasibility study on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. The historic island sits strategically in the heart of the harbor and is home to a U.S. Naval base and airstrip that played a key role during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. Today, the base is still in use, although its airstrip has long been decommissioned. Nowadays the island is the main jumping off point for visitors to the U.S.S. Missouri and Arizona memorials.

During the study POWER Engineers analyzed use patterns and reliability, maintenance requirements, economic feasibility, and installation techniques. It recommended a two-mile, double circuit 46 kV XLPE cable system connecting Oahu to Ford Island via a route under Pearl Harbor. HECO then hired POWER Engineers to design the project and supervise its construction.

The logistical and coordination aspects of the project were immense. The site lies under a busy marine navigation route that could not be disrupted. Historical features had to be considered and avoided. The U.S. Navy placed a tight timeline on the project. Further obstacles lay in properly guiding the directional drill and pulling over 5,000 feet of cable. And finally, the logistics of getting the needed construction and drilling equipment to Oahu. Nearly everything had to be imported from the mainland, some equipment as far away as Texas!

Drawing on its experience, POWER Engineers delivered a completed project to a pleased client. A formal dedication ceremony occurred in 2006 and POWER Engineers’ place in a site that “will live in infamy” was secured.


  • Feasibility study preparation
  • Conceptual design
  • Preliminary engineering
  • Project engineering
  • Underground transmission line design
  • Construction oversight
  • Scheduling
  • Engineering and procurement document preparation
  • Complete testing and energization