New transformer increases Hangatiki capacity
22 January 2019
Late last month electricity distributor The Lines Company (TLC) added a further 30 Megawatt (MW) transformer to its stable of assets serving Hangatiki’s 9000 customers in the greater King Country area.
“We’re expecting the ongoing growth and development in the wider Waitomo- Otorohanga- Te Kuiti area to add around 15 MW of extra demand on Hangatiki by 2023,” says Mike Fox general manager of network.
At an installed cost of $5M the near-new transformer, purchased as surplus to a South Island operation’s needs, provides a 50% increase to the substation’s capacity.
Mr Fox acknowledged that while it cost a significant amount of money, investment of this scale was required to support the region’s future electricity supply needs.
“It’s a fundamental building block in a series we’re putting in place to proactively keep ahead of growth by increasing supply capacity and reliability.” Mr Fox said.
An additional unit at Hangatiki will cater to increasing demand from farms, meat works, the iron sands mine, the proposed Happy Valley Milk development, and residential growth. The third transformer also provides greater supply flexibility and reduces vulnerability for TLC customers when Transpower does maintenance on its assets at Hangatiki.
Following delivery, the new transformer is being assembled and having high voltage connections, cooling systems and other control equipment fitted, before it is tested, commissioned and finally connected to the TLC network. Commissioning is expected to be complete early in March.