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Inter-island transmission link restored


Inter-island transmission link restored

Transpower, the owner and operator of the national grid, says the high voltage direct current (HVDC) link between the South and North Islands was successfully restored this Monday afternoon.


Extreme winds on Friday morning knocked over three transmission towers near Ward Pass, about two hours north of Hanmer Springs on the Molesworth Station road.

Over the weekend a team of contractors using excavators, bulldozers, cranes and trucks removed the damaged towers and wires and erected temporary replacement towers. The electricity circuits were re-connected today and following a series of tests and equipment adjustments, the HVDC link was brought back into service shortly after 5.00pm.

Transpower General Manager Kieran Devine says an initial assessment of the damage on Friday had indicated that restoration of the link could take four or five days.

“The location is extremely remote but we were able to mobilise a workforce and get them and the necessary equipment on site by Saturday morning. Alstom and the other contractors, along with Transpower’s engineers, have done an outstanding job to restore the link so quickly.”

The temperatures over the weekend at Molesworth Station hit the high 30’s and at one stage a helicopter was used to bring in additional water for the workforce.

Kieran Devine says the HVDC link is secure and the temporary towers can remain in use for some months. Transpower expects to have permanent towers in place before winter.

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