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Self-managed power units beat the storms

Monday, August 10, 2015

Stand-alone power units kept remote Powerco residents on full power during recent storms.

While the June floods caused massive damage in Whanganui and South Taranaki and left many people isolated for days, those with self-managed power systems (BasePower) enjoyed uninterrupted electricity supply.

“There are eight units operating in areas hit by the June 19-20 floods and none were affected,” Electricity Commercial Manager Eric Pellicer said.

The torrential rain caused huge slips, widespread tree damage and considerable disruption to Powerco’s main line network. Remote customers without self-managed units lost power, some for lengthy spells, until network repairs were made.

“Those with the units were able to weather the storm with no loss of power to fridges or freezers.”

He said the first stand-alone unit was trialled by Powerco five years ago and its BasePower division was looking to expand its customer numbers.

“In the near future we hope to provide for many different types of customers ranging from small shearing sheds, residences, dairy farms and larger commercial businesses.

“The units are primarily powered by solar energy so they are a perfect fit for remote woolsheds as shearing depends on fine, sunny weather. The units can also be powered by water or wind.”

A single energy storage unit has the capacity to support the average daily needs of a home, and can work together to support larger farming needs.

Mr Pellicer said Powerco’s goal was to provide a reliable supply of electricity to all its customers. In some cases, this could be better served by a BasePower unit as opposed to traditional network solutions. In these instances, the maintenance requirements were taken care of by Powerco and could be checked remotely.

“The only thing customers need to do with the system is refill the diesel tank when the alarm sounds.”

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