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Tauranga CBD Power Supply Reinforced

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Tauranga CBD Power Supply Reinforced With New Cabling

New power cables to future-proof the reliability and supply of two of Tauranga’s busiest areas are being laid over the next three weeks.

Two cables - 33,000 volt and 11,000 volt – are being installed by Powerco contractors from the Tauranga Domain, down Monmouth Street and into Cliff Road.

Powerco expects the works will have a minimal immediate impact on car-parking and traffic flow along Monmouth Street and Cliff Roads, however vehicle access in the two streets will be affected at the end of next week (March 1-3).

Powerco spokesperson Neville Goodwin says the new cables cover two separate projects, firstly the future load growth of Sulphur Point and secondly, the reinforcement of supply to the central business district (CBD).

“The additional cables leading around the city are part of an ongoing upgrade to provide a high capacity ring to reinforce the power network within Tauranga’s CBD,” Mr Goodwin says.

Several more lengths of cabling will be installed in the Cliff Road and Strand areas before the upgraded CBD ring is complete.

Mr Goodwin says the projects are part of Powerco’s commitment to improving the reliability of supply to Tauranga’s CBD and catering for future growth in the area.

The 33,000 volt cables will eventually supply a new zone substation at Sulphur Point, which has been identified as a significant industrial growth area requiring a high level of supply security, Goodwin says.

“Sulphur Point is currently supplied power from the Matua and Hamilton Street substations, but the long term plan does involve the construction of a zone substation at Sulphur Point. The harbour bridge flyover developments are being taken into consideration in the substation planning.”

The cables will be operated at 11,000 volts until loads reach a level where the substation will be required.

Both of the cables being installed are the latest in technology, with fibre optics being embedded in their protective casings.

Goodwin says while fibre optics have been installed alongside cables in the past, this is the first time in New Zealand they have been an integral part of the main power cable.

“The fibre optic cables allow us to very carefully monitor the loading on the main cables. They will tell us if there are any hot points or spot heating, and if necessary we will be able to transfer loads and fix the problem at its source before it becomes a major issue.

‘When a sudden problem does occur we will be able to locate it faster by using the information from the fibre optics.”

Powerco is ensuring all new 33kV cables feature the fibre optic technology to future proof any new installation.

ENDS

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