Powering Up Whangamata

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Whangamata BESS Project

The beautiful beachside town of Whangamata is supplied by a single 33,000-volt line running through some rugged terrain from Waihi.

Historically it has experienced damage from severe weather, tree felling and several other asset failures. When damage occurs to that line, all power is cut to more than 5,700 properties. This is clearly a problem we want to fix for our customers.

To provide a more secure supply to Whangamata, we are installing a grid-scale battery back-up system. This is paired with a large-scale generator and bespoke network switching system, all designed to support supply of electricity to the Whangamata CBD in the event of a power cut.

Once successfully commissioned, we expect that Whangamata Central will be able to rapidly restore electricity supply to around 1,000 properties in the Whangamata CBD. It will continue to supply them while our field staff locate and repair the damage to the network.

During CPP – Year One, we completed the procurement process for the purchase and installation of the battery and diesel generator. We established a turn-key contract for the project, to limit our risk exposure. The scope of the project is significant, and a first for Powerco.

Civil works commenced in March 2019, with factory inspections of the battery undertaken in May and June. During CPP – Year Two, construction and commissioning of the battery and diesel generator will happen. Commissioning is currently planned for November 2019.

Thank you to the Whangamata community for your participation in this project. Powerco has consulted extensively with the business community in the area over recent years, and we’ve been pleased to engage with a range of stakeholders, including meetings with Enterprise Whangamata.

Our Challenge

Whangamata’s power is supplied by a single 33kV line running through some rugged terrain from Waihi.

Historically this area has experienced damage from severe weather, tree felling, and several other asset failures. When damage occurs to the line, power is cut to more than 5700 properties.

Our Solution

To provide a more secure supply to Whangamata, we are installing a grid-scale battery back-up system. This is paired with a large-scale generator and bespoke network switching system – all designed to support electricity supply to the Whangamata CBD in the event of a
power cut.

Once successfully commissioned, electricity supply will be able to be rapidly restored to around 1000 properties in the Whangamata CBD in the event of a power outage. It will continue to supply them while our field staff locate and repair the damage to the network.

What this Means

Construction and commissioning of the battery and diesel generator is currently underway, with commissioning currently planned for November 2019.

  • Whangamata is receiving a ‘first’ – this is our first large scale microgrid project on the Powerco network.  We’re investing in your community
  • It provides security by supplying energy to Whangamata CBD during electricity outages, and minimises disruption during peak business periods
  • You’re receiving a renewable energy network

Thank you to the Whangamata community for your participation in this project – we have consulted extensively with a range of stakeholders to achieve this success for you, our customers.