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Major Power Upgrade for Central Tauranga

Wednesday, May 25 2005

Major Power Upgrade for Central Tauranga

A $1.9 million project, one of several planned to upgrade central Tauranga’s power supply, has begun with a new transformer arriving at the Waihi Road substation last week.

It is the first of two new transformers to be installed by electricity distribution company Powerco at Waihi Road. The upgrade will more than quadruple the substation’s capacity.

The transformer arrived at Port of Tauranga during the downpour of last week and was offloaded and craned into place. A second transformer is due to arrive within a month.

Powerco General Manager Network Assets Richard Krogh said the substation upgrade would greatly increase capacity in the central city area and be large enough to cater for future growth.

The transformers will also mean the substation can now feed Fraser Cove and Judea’s industrial area, currently fed by Tauranga and Otumoetai substations respectively.

The substation upgrade will also allow feeder cables to be run from Waihi Road through the Avenues to Elizabeth Street, significantly boosting capacity to the central business district, Mr Krogh said.

“This upgrade will provide additional backup into the CBD. It is part of the undertaking Powerco made to provide a more reliable service to that area.”

Mr Krogh said the previous transformers had a combined capacity of 10MVA. Each of the new transformers can carry up to 24MVA, meaning they each have enough ‘spare’ capacity to supply the load in the case of one transformer not working, due to faults or maintenance work.

Other improvements to the Waihi Road substation will be made during the upgrade, including new cables, replacement of the 11,000-volt switchboard and protection relay upgrades.

The upgrade process also involves enlarging oil bunds, which will stop any contaminants entering the ground or adjacent waterways in case of an oil leak.

As the new transformers are loaded into the network some outages will be necessary.

“There will be a very brief outage, which we will time to be least inconvenient for the majority of people. Further notification of the outage will be released when dates and times are finalised,” Mr Krogh said.

The Waihi Road Substation upgrade is just one of Powerco’s major projects planned this year to improve the reliability of Tauranga’s power supply. A total of $14 million has been earmarked for upgrades across the wider-Tauranga area.


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