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OVERVIEW

To provide you with a strong service, we need a strong building.

Our old Network Operations Centre (NOC) was not up to scratch. It wasn’t seismically rated to provide life-line services in times of crisis, and it was small and noisy, creating a safety risk for our operations. We need to hear voices clearly, and over the past five years our control centre operations had increased by 40% (that’s a lot of voices and a lot of listening).

We knew that a purpose-built NOC was the fundamental building block to deliver on our CPP commitments to you. It had to be priority. We began construction in September 2017, and by late 2018 our team had moved in.

Our new centre is extremely tough and well-equipped. It meets importance level 4 for seismic resilience and can cope with a 1 in 2,500-year earthquake. It has a sophisticated fire suppression system, a backup generator capable of maintaining supply for three days, auxiliary water tanks and redundant fibre and radio communication circuits. It will meet our customers’ needs well into the future.

In planning the design, we visited electricity control rooms across New Zealand and Australia. Our focus was to future-proof, so we created a floating floor that allows wiring to be changed for different uses of space. We can adapt and evolve as needed. Flexible meeting areas and improved acoustics also allow higher productivity for our team.

Crucially for you, our customers, the new NOC means we can better manage any major issues that affect the network. Our building has a dedicated ‘Storm Room’ with a six-screen video wall, which supplies information to all network operators. It was designed to fit our Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS) approach, which we couldn’t achieve in our old building.

Thanks to our new NOC, our response protocol for major events is the best it’s ever been. We have laid strong foundations to power your future.

The challenge

To cater for the changing energy environment, and most importantly, to deliver your future energy needs, we needed a state-of-the-art solution.

The solution

Investment and development in a sophisticated, resilient, purpose-built Network Operations Centre (NOC).

Our NOC stands as the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, so we’re well equipped to power you into the future.

 

Our new centre:

  • Is well-equipped and extremely tough.
  • Meets level 4 for seismic resilience, and can cope with a 1 in 2500 year earthquake.
  • Has a sophisticated fire suppression system, a backup generator capable of maintaining supply for three days, auxiliary water tanks, and redundant fibre and radio communication circuits.
  • Was designed specifically to support our communities’ energy needs now and into the future.

The benefit

Through the advanced systems and technology central to our Network Operations Centre (NOC) we can;

Better manage any major issues that affect the network – this means minimal disruption to your energy supply.

Our response protocol for major events eg. storms, is the best it’s ever been – this too reduces impacts on your power supply.

Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) design was inspired by electricity control rooms across New Zealand and Australia. Our focus was to future-proof our NOC to adapt and evolve as needed – this means flexibility to meet your changing needs well into the future.

Milestones

Construct new substation building

The first part of the South Waikato Grid Connection project is to replace the building - which doesn’t meet earthquake resilience standards - and upgrade the equipment at the Putaruru substation.

Route for new circuit between Arapuni and Putaruru confirmed

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Planned power cut during this period

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Construction of the circuit and new transformer at Putaruru substation

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2020
2020
June 2020
July 2020

UPDATES

Find out the latest updates about this project

FAQ

We strive to minimise impact in the design and placement of network infrastructure and we’re still planning and consulting on the route for the new circuit. The circuit will be a mix of overhead lines – which you will see, and underground cable – which you won’t see. You’ll also see a new building at our Putaruru substation, replacing the ageing existing building there.

We can never guarantee supply 100% of the time, however, the number and length of outages you experience will be reduced.  

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Downloads

2020

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