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Major Power Upgrades In Store

Monday, March 07, 2005

Major Power Upgrades In Store For Western Bay Of Plenty

Electricity distribution company Powerco has announced major projects planned this year to improve the reliability of Tauranga’s power supply.

Dozens of installations and upgrades will be carried out over the next 12 months as part of Powerco’s $14 million upgrade for the wider-Tauranga area.

Eastern Region planning manager Neville Goodwin says one of the bigger projects will be installing two new transformers at the Waihi Road Substation.

“The substation upgrade is necessary to meet increasing power demands and Powerco’s security of supply standards.

“Once both new transformers are installed, the substation’s power capacity will be more than doubled.”

Waihi Road’s substation supplies much of central Tauranga’s power, including part of the CBD. With the upgrade, the supply from Waihi Road will be extended further into the CBD and across Takitimu Drive into the Judea area.

“These transformers will help us keep our promise of providing a more reliable service to the central business district. Feeder cables from Waihi Road are currently being run through the Avenues to Elizabeth Street. They will significantly boost capacity to the CBD,” Mr Goodwin says.

Other improvements to the Waihi Road substation and feeder cables will also be made when the transformers are installed, including new cables, the complete replacement of the 11,000 volt switchboard and protection relay upgrades.

Te Puke will also receive two new transformers this year. Preparation work is underway at the substation site, with the first transformer due to arrive late next month.

When the new transformers are installed, either one will be able to supply Te Puke’s electricity demand on it’s own, allowing a significant level of redundant capacity.

Due to a lack of manufacturers in New Zealand, Powerco tendered the production of the new transformers. Wilson Transformer Company of Melbourne won the tender and a representative will be on site as they are installed.

Mount Maunganui and Papamoa are also in store for upgrades to the electricity distribution network.

A new 33,000 volt underground circuit will be run between the Mount Maunganui and Triton Ave substations and will work in tandem with the existing dual overhead circuit.

Mr Goodwin says electricity demand in these areas continues to grow.

“The best solution to address this growth and ensure the network is built and maintained to accommodate future growth was to install a new higher capacity underground circuit and then parallel the existing dual overhead circuits to form a higher capacity single circuit.”

A new 11,000 volt feeder in Papamoa will service the new Papamoa Junction. Mr Goodwin said the investment was required to accommodate the growth expected in the area over the next 10 years.

“The new feeder, currently being installed, will run from Papamoa substation to the junction of Tara Road and Parton Road to provide for future growth in the area.”

Two additional 11,000 volt feeders are being designed, one to run up Domain Road to supply the new Supa Centa development and future residential growth. The second feeder will head towards Welcome Bay Road to improve capacity on the other Papamoa feeders. Both new feeders will be installed this later year.

Goodwin says at least 50 other improvements and upgrades of varying sizes will also be made to Western Bay’s power supply, including Tauranga’s CBD, this year.


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