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Consultion on options for the Wairakei-Whakamaru

Media release

8 September 2008

Transpower consults on options for the Wairakei-Whakamaru lines

Transpower today released a shortlist of possible options to upgrade the Wairakei – Whakamaru transmission lines. The four options range from upgrades to the existing lines, through to building a new line.

The transmission upgrades are needed to help connect 600 MW or more of new geothermal generation in the region that is either planned or underway. Connecting new, and possibly large amounts of generation to the transmission network, requires an assessment of options to increase the transmission capacity between Whakamaru and Wairakei.

General Manager Grid Development Tim George said that Transpower recognised the importance of engaging early with those affected by its works to ensure that an appropriate solution for both the community and the National Grid is submitted to the Electricity Commission for approval.

“Any proposed solution must meet the Electricity Commission’s Grid Investment Test – a type of national cost benefit assessment that is used to select the most economic option. We’re looking to quantify and qualify the feedback we receive from the community to better assess the options under that test.”

“We recognise the need to be transparent on how we plan for transmission upgrades which means talking to communities early in the process. We have already undertaken briefings with local stakeholders over the last couple of months and a detailed information pack has now been sent out to the local community and affected landowners so that they can see the type of work required, and the advantages/disadvantages for each option,” he said.

Consultation on the short-list of options runs until 26 September 2008. Consultation documents and further information on the project can be found at www.gridnewzealand.co.nz/wairakei-ring.


ENDS

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