A major upgrade of Powerco's network is underway to cater for the significant commercial and industrial growth in the Waiwhakaiho and Bell Block areas.
Helicopter work started last month on Bell Block and Waiwhakaiho's new power line.
The $3.5 million project will strengthen and reinforce supply to the area. It involves installing a new twin 33kV circuit from the main grid exit point at Huirangi to the Bell Block substation.
The 6.5km line is being built in two stages, Bell Block to SH3A and SH3A to Huirangi. Work on the first stage from Bell Block-SH3A involved the use of a helicopter to run six conductors along the route.
“Our contractor, Electrix, used Beck Helicopters as a cost effective means of erecting the conductors,” Powerco Service Delivery Manager Dave Hammond said.
A second contractor, Northpower, has just begun work on the second section from SH3A-Huirangi with completion due mid-March.
“The new line is scheduled to be available for service by the end of March and will enhance our supply to Waiwhakaiho and Bell Block and support for Carrington.”
A fibre optic cable was also included in the upgrade and will provide network communication and protection services for Powerco.
Considerable land access and consent planning liaison with land owners and affected parties was carried out to ensure the impact on them prior to physical work being undertaken was minimised.
"Line route analysis, design and access consenting processes took two years to complete and was supported with excellent co-operation from the landowners involved,” Hammond said.
New 11kV switchgear will be installed in the Bell Block substation later this year as part of upgrades to improve safety and enhance capacity.