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Keeping you connected

We’re constantly looking to the future and anticipating our region’s current and future needs.

Running an electricity lines network over a 13,700 square km area is no small feat. To keep up with increasing demand, we plan and proactively upgrade our network infrastructure to ensure it remains safe, reliable and resilient, and that you continue to have power at the flick of a switch.

Planned maintenance

Like any lines network, we manage temporary network outages from time to time, for various reasons.

Planned outages occur for a number of reasons:

  • Planned maintenance on our lines, power poles, transformers, and substations
  • Upgrading network infrastructure so it remains fit for purpose
  • Constructing new substations or lines to handle growth
  • Upgrading customers’ connections to accommodate additional load or meet changing technology needs

Notifications

If your property is going to be affected by a planned outage, we’ll let you know at least four days prior via a letterbox drop.

We’ll also post outage notifications on our faults and outages page and provide updates as work progresses.

Access to property

If we need access to your property for planned work, we’ll liaise with you ahead of time to make appropriate arrangements. This may include getting access for vehicles or to our equipment, an internal meter board, or similar.

Federated Farmers has a range of fact sheets which outline landowner rights and obligations when it comes to access for lines maintenance across private land.

Timing

We understand being without power is inconvenient. Choosing when we complete planned maintenance is a careful balancing act involving many factors but public safety and that of our team is paramount.

We also consider seasonal activities like lambing, calving, and peak milk production, as well as weather, power demand, regulatory requirements and community priorities.

Faults

Our priority is to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

From time to time, we may experience intermittent faults. Our team is out there every working day making sure you have power when you need it.

Why faults occur

Faults occur for many reasons including bad weather, trees or other debris falling on lines, snow, vehicle accidents, or unexpected equipment failure.

Working safely

While we do our best to resolve faults quickly, there may be times when we need to work alongside emergency services, locate faults in remote areas, or contend with large-scale weather events.

This can cause slight delays, but please be assured we’re working hard to investigate and restore power to you. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

What's planned for our network

Demand for electricity on our network continues to grow. Farming, commercial and industrial business growth across the network, along with population increases predicted for northern areas, mean there’s more demand for power.

We’ve planned for that and have a number of upgrades and other network investments underway to make sure our region is well positioned for future economic development opportunities.

Otorohanga line renewal

Completion end November 2018

Looking ahead

To reduce the potential for outages it’s important we keep the approximately 35,000 poles and around 51,000 cross-arms in service across our network in tip-top condition.

reliability

Between now and the end of the year we’re renewing poles and cross-arms in and around Otorohanga to increase the reliability of the town’s power supply.

This $1.2 million upgrade is part of this year’s planned maintenance programme where we’re spending a total of $6 million on line renewals across the network.

Our Northpower contractors are doing the Otorohanga work in stages and sections and have finished the first Main North Road and Harper’s Avenue part. The second stage in and around Otorohanga’s CBD — an area roughly west and south of Maniapoto Street – is underway.

Outage notifications

Crews are working on the lines on weekdays between 8.00am and 5.00pm, and there’s some weekend work. We’re letting customers know when power will be off by mail as usual and there’s information on our website and Facebook pages, and on the local radio. We expect to work on power affecting the main street on Sundays as the day that impacts businesses the least.

Te Waireka Substation upgrade

Completion December 2018

While we’re meeting current demand from our Te Waireka substation at Otorohanga, the town and surrounding area are growing and will need more electricity in the future.

Over a 12 month period, we’re replacing Te Waireka’s transformers with two bigger ones to increase the amount of power we can supply from it.

Staged upgrade

To minimise outages for our customers we’re taking it in stages, swapping, installing and commissioning each new unit one at a time. The replacement transformers are brand new. We’ve had them custom-built in Vietnam to our requirements and to meet Otorohanga’s specific supply needs.

When we’re finished, Te Waireka’s supply capacity will have increased from 20 to 30 Megawatt (MW). That’s plenty to power the area’s residents, businesses, and industry for years to come.

The original Te Waireka transformers are being serviced before going to Taumarunui’s Borough substation, where they’ll be used to increase that town’s supply capacity.

Key transformer facts

  • Each is 6 metres long, 4.2 metres wide, 4.4 metres high
  • Weigh 38 tonnes each
  • 15 Megawatt (MW) capacity each
  • Custom-built in Vietnam for Otorohanga
  • Travelled around 9836kms to Otorohanga via Ports of Hanoi and Auckland
  • Sit on separate pads with 20 cubic metres of concrete poured into each pad
  • Are separated by a 35-tonne concrete firewall.

Hangatiki Substation upgrade

Completion February 2019

We’re committed to providing a secure supply to the 9,000 customers who get their power from the substation site shared with Transpower on Waitomo Caves Road.

We’re expecting ongoing growth and development in the wider Waitomo/Otorohanga/Te Kuiti area to add around 15 Megawatt (MW) extra electrical load to Hangatiki by 2023. We’re adding a third transformer to cater to the increasing demand that’s coming from farms, meat works, the iron sands mine, a proposed new dairy factory facility, and residential growth.

The foundations are underway and over the coming months, we’ll be working at Hangatiki adding the new transformer, associated switchgear, and 20MW – a 50% increase — to the substation’s current 20MW capacity.

Once it’s been delivered from the South Island our near-new transformer will be installed, tested and commissioned before connecting to the national grid.

Borough Substation upgrade

Completion early 2019

Growth and demand extend into the southern part of our network. When we’ve finished our work at Otorohanga, Te Waireka’s original 10 Megawatt (MW) transformers are going to the Borough substation in Taumarunui.

Following installation, testing and commissioning, this upgrade will boost Taumarunui’s supply capacity from 5MW to 10MW.

Borough’s current 5MW transformers will be reused elsewhere on the network.

Electric Vehicle charging network

Completion late 2018

We’re in an ever-changing energy landscape. More and more New Zealanders are turning to electric vehicles (EVs) for their transport needs and taking them further afield. We’re onboard with helping make our network an EV destination for Kiwis and international visitors to travel to or through our region.

We’ve secured Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) funding to install around 100 publicly accessible EV chargers at accommodation and tourism businesses around our network.

Proprietors are signing up for our wall-mounted charging units that’ll allow their customers to charge vehicles in locations such as motels, hotels, sports and outdoor activity venues while out enjoying everything our beautiful region has to offer.

The user connects to the charging unit and pays the business owner for the electricity they use via a cloud-connected tracking system

Contact us for a chat if you’d like your business to be a part of this unique opportunity.