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The current 10 MW transformers at Te Waireka Road which will be replaced over the coming months

Te Waireka substation transformer work starts

27 February 2018

Work on upgrading transformers at The Lines Company’s (TLC) Te Waireka substation at Te Waireka Road, Ōtorohanga is set to begin in earnest from next week.

Last year, work was done enlarging the site ready to replace the current 10 Megawatt (MW)* transformers at Te Waireka with brand new ones that have a 15 MW capacity.  The substation currently feeds electricity to more than 3000 customers in Ōtorohanga and north of the town via four 11 kilovolt (kV) lines.

General Manager of Network Development, Mike Fox says that while current demand is being met by Te Waireka, the local area is growing and will need more electricity in the future.

“The upgrade is about future security and reliability for the network and for an area that is growing,” he says.  “The Te Waireka work is one step in our investment programme that will see Otorohanga and surrounding areas well supported and well positioned for future economic development opportunities.”

The upgrade and change over include installing, testing and commissioning the transformers in two stages over a six month period from March to October this year.  The custom-made transformers, supplied by ABB New Zealand, are scheduled to arrive at the site at different stages of the construction.  They were built in Vietnam under TLC supervision at a cost of $440,000 each to meet Ōtorohanga’s specific needs.

“Taumarunui’s demand and needs are also changing. When the Te Waireka transformers are removed they are destined for our Borough sub-station at Taumarunui to meet that town’s current and future needs.”

Construction at Te Waireka Road is scheduled from March to October 2018.  Local residents and road users are asked to be aware of occasional short-term road closures and parking limitations in the area while materials and equipment, including the transformers, are delivered to the site.

*The electricity math. 1 Megawatt (MW) = 1 million watts or the same amount of energy as 10,000 regular 100-watt lightbulbs.

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