Project Progress - Ongoing
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OVERVIEW

We love trees, but not in or near our power lines.

Proactive management of the vegetation around our network is important because trees and maintenance affect how many power outages our customers experience in the short-term, and the overall reliability of our network in the long-term.

Many serious outages in storms are caused by trees or branches being blown into lines, often from moderate distances.

We have a cyclical, managed (rather than a reactive) approach to vegetation across our network.  Cyclic vegetation management means that we manage each tree site at least once during the cycle period.  These cycles are designed to achieve the best balance of network reliability and cost-effectiveness.

Our cycles are:

  • Tauranga, Waikato and Thames Valley – 3 yearly cycle
  • Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatu – 4-yearly cycle
  • Wairarapa – 5-yearly cycle

In areas where our most critical assets are, we take a risk-based rather than a cyclical approach by inspecting and trimming or removing vegetation annually.

So far in FY2020 we’ve managed 11,090 tree sites by…

  • Trimming at 3,862 sites
  • Removing at 6,180 sites
  • Spraying at 1,048 sites

…to ensure the trees and vegetation meet regulatory clearance levels.

The end result – fewer tree-related power outages.

While removing trees is necessary for keeping our network safe and reliable, we support planting native trees in areas away from our powerlines. That’s why we’ve partnered with Asplundh (one of our contractors) and Wild for Taranaki to match tree-for-tree the ones we remove from the Taranaki network as part of our vegetation management (see below).  

The challenge

To keep the power safe and reliable, we need to keep the trees at bay. Trees growing over lines or being blown onto lines during storms cause power outages.

The solution

A cyclical approach to managing vegetation on our network, with annual inspections in areas where our critical assets are located.

The benefit

Fewer tree-related power outages.

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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