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Transpower Confirms Route For Pylons


Transpower confirms route for proposed transmission line

Transpower has confirmed the final route within which the proposed new transmission line through the Waikato and south Auckland would be built.

Proceeding with the transmission line is subject to Electricity Commission and Resource Management Act approvals.

An interim route was announced in May for the proposed 400 kV transmission line between Otahuhu and Whakamaru. This has now been confirmed as the final route. Information packs are being delivered today to affected landowners and occupiers.

Transpower Chief Executive Ralph Craven says as the result of public submissions some of the evaluations in the Interim Route Decision Report were revised; however, these revisions were not sufficiently substantial to lead to any change to the route.

“However, the submissions did identify many individual property issues that Transpower will be discussing further with landowners and other interested parties over the coming months,” Dr Craven said.

Dr Craven says now that the route has been decided, the next step is to determine the exact path of the proposed transmission line within that route. The route is generally at least 500 metres wide, while the easement that Transpower will require is a minimum of 65 metres wide.

“Transpower has undertaken preliminary work to identify an indicative centre-line so that we have a starting point for consultation with landowners, and for further environmental and engineering investigations.

“I want to reiterate that this is still only an indicative centre-line,” Dr Craven said. “Future engineering and environmental investigations, and landowner feedback, will help determine the final path of the centre-line and tower locations.

“I would also like to stress that it is in the landowner’s interest to participate in the on-going process. Talking to Transpower will not in any way affect their rights under the Resource Management Act processes that are still to come.”

Dr Craven says a number of landowners have indicated that they would prefer to sell their property to Transpower rather than grant an easement.

“We have listened to this feedback and will consider purchasing property that the proposed transmission line will cross on a “willing buyer willing seller” basis.

“Transpower needs to secure an appropriate interest in all the properties that will be crossed by the proposed transmission line. Any negotiation process is expected to reach a fair and equitable settlement,” Dr Craven said.

On 31 May 2005 Transpower submitted its Grid Investment Proposal to the Electricity Commission. As the regulator, the Commission will assess Transpower’s proposal and any viable alternatives that could defer the proposal or make it unnecessary. A final decision from the Electricity Commission is expected before July 2006.

Both the Government and the Commission have agreed that Transpower should continue with route selection and negotiations with landowners prior to Commission approval.

Facts on the Route decision

Length of overhead route
190 km

Number of landowners on the route
600

Number of landowners with indicative centre-line
320

Number of houses directly affected by indicative centre-line
5

Transpower has, where possible, tried to avoid houses, but where this has been unavoidable Transpower will consult with landowners and occupiers to determine the best solution. Altering the centre-line, purchasing the property or relocating the house are among the options. There will be no houses in the final easement area.

Schools affected by indicative centre-line
None.

Transpower has avoided all schools. For example, the proposed path for the new line is further away from Hunua School than the existing Arapuni-Pakuranga line.

Arapuni to Pakuranga 110 kV line
The route requires the total removal of the Arapuni-Pakuranga line.

This line is 147 kms long and was built in the 1930s. The route follows this line for a total of 124 kms. There are 128 land parcels which would lose the Arapuni-Pakuranga line and not get the new 400 kV line.

Towers
Around 490 new steel towers will be needed for the 400 kV line. These are expected to be between 46 and 69 metres high.

The 460 existing steel towers (average height 25 metres) on the Arapuni-Pakuranga 110 kV line would all be removed.

Route selection process
The Final Route Decision Report is available from http://www.gridupgrade.co.nz/?id=5623


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