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Repairs needed to HVDC link terminal station

Repairs needed to HVDC link terminal station

Transpower will be working on the inter-island electricity link this weekend, as a result of this week’s severe storm. The national grid operator says that the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) link between the South and North Island will be taken out of service tomorrow (Saturday) to repair weather-related damage.

Transpower Communication Manager Chris Roberts says the HVDC problem is located at the North Island terminal point for the Cook Strait link, at Oteranga Bay.

“There appears to have been significant contamination to bushing equipment from windblown salt. The equipment needs to be cleaned and repaired and that requires taking the HVDC link out of service for up to 9 hours.

“The outage is being delayed until the weekend, when demand for electricity is lower. The HVDC link will operate at a reduced maximum capacity of 570 MW until Saturday morning.”

With the collapse of a tower yesterday near Fielding restricting the power flow south on the grid, careful management of the electricity supply for the lower North Island will be required during the outage.

“If the repairs go to plan, the HVDC link should be back in service by 4pm Saturday and there should be no impact on supply in the lower North Island (Palmerston North to Wellington). However, the line companies will be controlling water cylinder heating and some customers may notice a lack of hot water.

“There is a small possibility that additional problems are identified and the interisland link remains unavailable over the Saturday evening peak period. Transpower is working with the lines companies in the region to plan for load management, should that be necessary,” Chris Roberts said.

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