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New transmission link commissioned

New transmission link commissioned – 12 May 2006

A new high voltage transmission circuit supplying the top of the South Island has been put into service this afternoon by Transpower, owner and operator of the National Grid.

It has increased the capacity of the national grid to supply the top of the South Island by around 50% and is part of a significant capital works programme proving long-term benefits to North Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Buller.

The new 220 kV circuit has been constructed between Islington and Kikiwa, by stringing new conductors (wires) on existing towers.

It is one of the biggest projects undertaken by Transpower in recent years; with a budget approved by the Electricity Commission of $32 million.

The Islington–Kikiwa B line was constructed in 1979. It was designed and constructed to accommodate two circuits, but at the time was only strung on one side of the towers for its entire length.

To meet the growing demand for electricity in the top of the South Island, Transpower has now installed a second 220 kV circuit on the other side of the towers and installed new equipment at various substations.

To enable the work to be carried out, Transpower obtained easements along 123km of the line from 47 affected landowners.

The new Islington to Kikiwa circuit is part of a comprehensive work programme costing more than $60 million to enhance security of electricity supply for the top of the South Island.

ENDS

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