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Transpower welcomes draft approval for upgrade

Media release 18 December 2009

Transpower welcomes draft approval for Bay of Plenty project

Transpower today welcomed the Electricity Commission’s Notice of Intention to approve the Bay of Plenty Interconnection Capacity Upgrade project.

The proposed project, worth up to $21.5 million will result in a significant improvement to the security of the electricity supply to the Bay of Plenty Region. The project involves converting the operating voltage of the main transmission line supplying the Western Bay of Plenty from the south from 110 kV to 220 kV and installing new transformers at Kaitimako substation (near Welcome Bay).

As a result of this project more bulk power can be delivered to meet the demand for electricity in the growing Tauranga and Mt Maunganui areas.

Transpower’s General Manager Grid Development, John Clarke said that the final Grid Upgrade Plan, submitted to the Electricity Commission in November this year, was the culmination of much work from Transpower, Powerco and local stakeholders.

“While we used our demand forecasts for the region as a base, we were able to refine them significantly with the help of Powerco who have a more detailed understanding of the regional dynamics in the Bay of Plenty.

“We also met with the local councils and generation companies to hear their views on the electricity needs of the region and obtain feedback on our proposed approach. It all helped in putting together a good proposal.

“We’ll continue to work with local stakeholders with further developments to the regional electricity infrastructure in the Bay of Plenty to enable the grid to meet the requirements of one of New Zealand’s fastest growing regions.”

Transpower will begin work once final approval is received with a view to commissioning the transformers and converted line in 2011.

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