Investment reduces power cuts in Coromandel

Friday, March 15, 2013

A programme of multi-million dollar investments has greatly reduced the number and duration of power cuts to the people of the Coromandel Peninsula over the past six years

Powerco Chief Executive Nigel Barbour said the Company was committed to operating a safe and reliable network that customers could rely on and to that end Powerco had invested around $30 million into upgrading the electricity networks supplying towns including Thames, Tairua, Whitianga and Coromandel over the past seven years.

“Powerco is delivering on its promise to the people of Coromandel. We have effectively rebuilt the two main lines supplying the top half of the peninsula and added in a new section of network so that Whitianga has two separate lines providing supply,” Mr Barbour said.

Key project elements included:

-Rebuilding of Whitianga Substation
-Refurbishing Whitianga to Coromandel 66,000 volt line
-Refurbishing the Kopu to Coroglen line
-New line from Coroglen to Kaimarama capable of operating at 110,000 volts
-Refurbising the Kopu to Tairua 66,000 volt line
-New 66,000 volt cable from Kopu to Thames
-Upgraded Tairua Substation
-Created secondary supply to Coromandel Town from Thames via Thames Coast Road

In 2007 the average customer on the Coromandel Peninsula experienced around six power cuts a year totalling around 33 hours without electricity. In the year to February 2013 the average customer on the Coromandel experienced around two power cuts totalling around three hours.

“Powerco is acutely aware that a reliable supply of electricity underpins economic confidence and growth. Secure supplies of electricity underpin investment decisions and can mean the difference between businesses deciding to expand or not and Powerco is committed to ensuring the Coromandel Peninsula continues to grow and prosper,” he said.

With many of the largest projects now complete and having been in place for a little over 12 months, Mr Barbour said the benefits of Powerco’s investments were starting to be realised.

“No power company can guarantee an uninterrupted supply of electricity and the peninsula is prone to experiencing extreme weather events on a semi-regular basis so there may be times in the future where there are significant power cuts but what we can confidently say is that the network has been significantly enhanced due to these projects and the underlying network performance will lift as a result of these investments,” Mr Barbour said.

“It is worth noting that these projects and results have been achieved with widespread community support which assisted us both in the consenting stage but also during construction. Property owners including DOC and a significant number of farmers have greatly assisted the projects and Powerco wishes to acknowledge their role in helping make things happen,” Mr Barbour said.

While the investments made to date had delivered large improvements to the electricity supply on the peninsula, Mr Barbour said Powerco would continue its programme of replacing and upgrading infrastructure in years to come.

“Powerco will continue to invest in Coromandel’s electricity infrastructure to ensure we provide a supply of energy capable of supporting the forecast growth in population and to demonstrate our commitment to being a reliable partner, delivering New Zealand’s energy future.”

The map attached below outlines a range of investment projects planned for the next five years and estimates of when they will be undertaken subject to gaining easements, successfully completing the resource consenting process and other planning considerations.

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