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Good Progress on Upgrading Transmission Capacity

Good Progress on Upgrading Transmission Capacity to the Top of the South Island – 21 Apr 2006

A significant capital works programme proving long-term benefits to North Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Buller is nearing completion.

Transpower, the owner and operator of the national electricity grid, is making good progress on planned work to increase the capacity of the National Grid in the top of the South Island.

Since October 2005 Transpower has been working on a number of transmission upgrade projects in the top of the South Island costing more than $60 million.

Substations at both Waipara and Culverden are being upgraded to 220 kV interconnections and a new 220 kV circuit has been constructed between Islington and Kikiwa, by stringing new conductors (wires) on existing towers. A new 110 kV circuit between Stoke and Blenheim, again on existing towers, is also being constructed.

The new third 220 kV circuit from Islington to Kikiwa will increase security of supply and the capacity of the lines into the top of the South Island by approximately 50%. This will resolve the transmission capacity issues into the Nelson and Buller region for the foreseeable future.

The new third 110 kV circuit into Blenheim will provide 50% greater transmission capacity into the Marlborough region.

Activity is now intensifying, as the final work is undertaken to allow all new substation equipment and circuits to be commissioned by June.

During this work there will be occasions when some areas in the top of the South Island are temporarily supplied by a reduced number of transmission circuits. Transpower is co-ordinating with lines companies and generators in the region to maintain security of supply during this necessary process. Their cooperation and the cooperation being received from affected landowners and the public is appreciated.


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