Meeting a future electricity need

To meet the Port of Tauranga’s growing demand for electricity, we built a future-proofed substation that will provide security of supply for years to come.

The Port of Tauranga is New Zealand’s fastest growing port. Since its last upgrade in 2014, additional cranes and reefer blocks (used to power refrigerated containers) were reaching the capacity of its electrical infrastructure, impacting the security of supply and increasing the likelihood of outages. 

Project Manager Mike Young says it was time to build a new dedicated zone substation – our long-planned solution to meet the port’s growing electrical demand. 

 “We’ve known for some time that an upgrade would be needed, so our Planning team had the foresight of securing land on Sulphur Point about 10 years ago for a future substation,” says Mike.

Construction began in October 2019 and involved the installation of a new transformer and switchroom, and converting one of the existing 11kV feeders to 33kV to enable further capacity uplift and supply security. Works were completed in October 2020.  

“While the port only needs one transformer at present, the substation has been designed so that it can house two transformers in the future,” says Mike. “Features like this mean the substation can meet the port’s electricity needs for the foreseeable future.”

A high level of thought was also given to how the substation looks, with every effort made to have it be harmonious with its surrounding environment. Our team reinstated any plants that had to be dug up for the build and sought input from the local iwi, Ngai Tamarawaho.

“We wanted to acknowledge Ngai Tamarawaho, who have been part of this project from the very first meeting,” says Mike. “Rather than doing this in design of the substation – which isn’t very visible to the public – we’re supporting their cultural upgrade of the wider area instead which will make a more meaningful cultural contribution to the community.”

Link to our glossary 

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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