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$6m electricity upgrade for Matamata

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A $6 million development project by electricity distributor Powerco is about to start in the Waikato town of Matamata.

Once completed, the work will bolster the security of supply for the Matamata CBD and surrounding area. The two-year project involves linking the town’s two substations with a 33kV underground cable and construction of a new substation on Tower Rd.

Powerco’s service delivery and system operations general manager, Ian Skipworth said his company had worked closely with the Matamata-Piako District Council and planned the start of the project to avoid disruption during the Christmas and New Year break.

“The council has agreed to a route from Browne St to Tower Rd that follows Centennial Drive. This will further avoid any interference to the busy town centre,” he said.

“Installing the cables will not involve open trenching and will be completed in sections. This will allow access to most of the park walkway as the project progresses.”

Matamata-Piako mayor Jan Barnes said it was an exciting project for the town and her council was keen to work with Powerco.

“Putting the cables underground is aesthetically important for a community that takes prides in its CBD and surrounding streets,” she said.

“That and the substation work is a win-win for the town.”

Powerco expects the 2.3km of cable laying to take about three months.

“This will give us greater flexibility with the two substations during outages and regular maintenance. We presently have limited back feed capabilities and the new 33kV allows one substation to provide temporary backup if the other is out of commission.”

Site works for the new Tower Rd substation will start in early March and the design will allow it to blend in with neighbouring residential properties.

The old substation, built in 1928, will be dismantled and the site cleared once commissioning of the new structure is complete.

Upgrades of Transpower’s sub transmission lines in to Matamata are also scheduled as part of the project.

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