Tūrangi focus of TLC spend
5 August 2019
Two major projects will be rolled out by the The Lines Company (TLC) over the next three years to improve long-standing power supply issues around Tūrangi.
An aged and undersized HV cable that serves as a back-up cable for Awamate, Waiotaka and Kiko Road substations is set to be replaced following ongoing issues in the area.
General manager – network Mike Fox said it was simply “not good enough” to have a growing area without a robust back-up supply.
“We don’t accept it. This investment should sort it out and all going well, the new cable will be up and running by December 2019.”
Fox said the cable and installation was costing about $290,000 and was the first of two big pieces of work planned for the area. TLC was also planning on a major investment into a new back-up supply for Tūrangi with investigation work beginning this financial year.
About five years ago, around $300,000 was spend upgrading parts of the Tūrangi underground supply. This work is the next stage in improving reliability.
“Tūrangi needs a fully backed-up energy supply and the investment planned here mirrors that currently underway in Ōtorohanga,” Fox said.
“It’s not acceptable to only have one source of supply coming in to Tūrangi so we’ll be installing a new cable to the Tūrangi substation, probably in the 2021/2022 year,” he said.
“The underground network around Tūrangi is aging and we’re proactively taking steps to maintain or improve its performance. Some of the cables still in use are 50 years old so they’ve done their job. Across the whole of TLC’s network, we’re investing significantly more to keep our assets up to speed and fit-for-purpose and this work is part of that.”
The alternate back-up supply to the substation, budgeted at $2.3 million, will provide a full back-up supply to around 2,000 southern TLC customers. Fox said when the work is complete, the Tūrangi area will have a more robust network, able to “bounce back” much more quickly after incidents like car accidents or major weather events.
“It’s good to have the budget locked in and a time frame for completion set.”