Project Progress - Ongoing
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OVERVIEW

Remote Area Power Supply

To deliver energy to where you live, we want to offer practical and effective solutions that meet your needs.

In remote areas it’s not always best to simply replace an asset like an overhead line. To achieve a secure and reliable power supply, an off-grid solution such as Remote Area Power Supply (RAPS) can be a better idea. It’s also more cost effective for you and our customers overall.

A RAPS unit usually includes solar panels, battery storage and a diesel generator. So far, the Powerco team has installed 25 RAPS on our network and we will continue to do more. The positive impact can be seen in places like the Tangahoe Valley, where three units were installed in CPP – Year One and a further five were installed in CPP – Year Two. The new RAPS units replace the overhead power supply, which was constantly damaged in storms by trees and slips crashing through the lines. At times the destruction blocked the road for weeks, preventing contractors from reaching downed lines and poles. This was a major issue for the people who live there.

Now that RAPS are being used, storms will not impact on supply to our customers in these remote areas. They have proven to be a strong solution, at a far lower cost than re-building the 5.4km overhead line.

The challenge

Many parts of the Powerco network cover rugged, remote terrain, and are uneconomic to maintain.

Tangahoe is an example – the line into the valley has been rebuilt twice in the past nine years at substantial cost to service.

We needed a solution for a network trouble spot constantly damaged in storms by trees and slips crashing through the lines, – at times destruction blocked the road for weeks, preventing contractors from reaching downed lines and poles.

The solution

Our evolving Base Power technology provided the solution – replacement of the overhead supply in the network trouble spot with installation of five stand-alone, battery-powered units.  These produce electricity using a mix of solar and diesel generated energy.

While these battery powered units are a relatively new development for us, we have 25 in operation across remote sections of our network – customers are impressed with their reliability, particularly during storms.

The solar panels charge the storage batteries in each unit, with the diesel generator on standby if weather conditions inhibit solar generation.

The benefit

A more reliable and resilient power supply during stormy weather for the residents of the remote Tangahoe Valley east of Hawera

Support to your power supply through the innovative approach evolving via our Base Power project

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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