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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.

Emergency situations require unrestricted access.

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.

Arohena alternate supply

Completion end of March 2020

 

 

 

 

Over the coming year we’re replacing and upgrading lines in and around Arohena to provide an alternate supply via Ōtorohanga for us to reconnect power more quickly should it go off.

This upgrade is part of a bigger picture which included completing upgrades at Hangatiki and Ōtorohanga’s Te Waireka substations first.

 

 

 

Staged work

We’re mindful of the seasonal activities of our mostly 550 dairying customers in the area and will do the approximately $1.7 million of work in stages.

Planned outages

There will be some planned power outages during school hours and outside of milking times while we do this work.

We expect to give customers at least a week’s notice and schools will be supplied with generators.

 

Borough substation upgrade

Completion mid 2019

Growth and demand extend into the southern part of our network. When we’ve finished our work at Ōtorohanga, 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 (EV) charging network

Completion 2019

More and more New Zealanders are turning to electric vehicles (EVs) for their transport needs and taking them further afield.

We’re on board with helping make our network an EV destination for Kiwis and international visitors to travel to or through our region.

With Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) funding we’re installing around 50 publicly accessible EV chargers at accommodation and tourism businesses around our network.

what’s involved?

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.

Kuratau line renewal and substation upgrade

Completion end of 2019

Between now and the end of 2019 we’re making around $700,000 of improvements to the lines and substation servicing over 1600 of our customers on the western side of Lake Taupō.

This work is to increase supply reliability, reduce outages and speed up restoration time.

 

 

 

Line renewal work

From July through to September we’ll be renewing lines in and around the area, before replacing the transformer at the Kuratau substation later in 2019.

Planned outages

There will be some planned outages while we do the work and we’ll notify customers as usual.

Owhango line renewal

July to September 2019

We’re investing $300,000 in line renewal and maintenance work to make Owhango’s power supply more reliable and to better future-proof this village, south of Taumarunui.

 

 

 

Between July and September 2019 three of our Taumarunui crews are replacing power poles and some of the cross-arms in Owhango.

Planned Outages

While the work is being done in winter, we’re conscious of the benefits the ski season brings to Owhango.

We’ll advise customers of any planned power outages, which we intend to keep short and during the day time.

 

Te Waireka substation upgrade

Stage One completed December 2018

Stage Two scheduled for later in 2019

While the current demand from our Te Waireka substation at Ōtorohanga was being met, the town and surrounding area are growing, needing more electricity in the future.

Over a 12 month period in 2018, we replaced 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 swapped, installed and commissioned each new unit in stages – one unit at a time. The replacement transformers are brand new. We had them custom-built in Vietnam to our requirements and to meet Ōtorohanga’s specific supply needs.

Now we’re finished, Te Waireka’s supply capacity has 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 have been serviced and sent to Taumarunui’s Borough substation, where they’ll be used to increase that town’s supply capacity.

future work

Later in 2019, we’re upgrading the substation’s switch room to one big enough for the larger size and capacity of the new equipment.

Key new 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 Ōtorohanga
  • Travelled around 9836kms to Ōtorohanga 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.

Tūrangi alternate supply

Stage One

Completion end October 2019

This year we’re doing the first of what will be two stages of work to improve supply in the Tūrangi area over the next few years.

 

Stage One

At an estimated cost of around $300,000, the first stage is to upgrade the Awamate – Waiotaka – Kiko Road cable.

This will provide better back up supply and quicker reconnection of most outages to around 1200 customers in that area.

Stage Two

The second and more complex stage is currently being scoped and expected to be a multi-million dollar project.

It involves installing new cable to the Tūrangi substation to provide a more reliable supply to our 2000 Tūrangi customers.