Major Network Project Nearing Completion

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Powerco is celebrating a major milestone with the completion of its largest network upgrade in recent years - the new 110,000 volt line in the Coromandel Peninsula.

The line, which runs between Kaimarama and Coroglen, represents a $6 million investment by Powerco. It will result in a more reliable electricity supply for around 9500 customers on the upper peninsula.

The 12km line has taken about eight months to build and will be commissioned on 6, 7 and 8 November.

Powerco is donating $10,000 to the local community to celebrate the completion of the project.

Coromandel residents are being asked to suggest a local project or charity they think is worthy of the donation. Community leaders will select the top five which will be posted on Powerco’s website for voting. Suggestions should be emailed to by 2 December.

Powerco General Manager Electricity Andrew McLeod said the line would significantly reduce the likelihood of prolonged power cuts during severe weather that have occurred in past years.

The commissioning work will be spread over three days and generators at Whitianga and Coromandel substations will eliminate the need for any planned power cuts.

Mr McLeod said there could still be a power cut in unexpected circumstances, for example if a vehicle crashes into a pole. “We’re doing everything we can to minimise disruption for the community, but there is a risk something could happen beyond our control that affects supply.”

He said consumers should try to conserve energy on Sunday 6 November and Tuesday 8 November where possible. “By conserving electricity customers will be helping us reduce the amount of diesel required for the project and therefore reducing carbon dioxide emissions and overall project costs.”

The project is part of Powerco delivering on its commitment to the people of Whitianga and Coromandel to lift network performance on the peninsula through a programme of investments. Since 2003, the company has spent around $28.5 million on the Coromandel network to improve reliability and meet growing electricity demand.

Mr McLeod thanked everyone involved with the project, especially Ngati Hei, land owners and contractors Electrix, Tenix and Northpower. “This project wouldn’t have gone ahead or be completed on time without their support.”

Powerco is committed to caring for the environment and will be planting 600 native trees in the Coromandel area. Community representatives are being consulted to see where the most suitable place is to plant them.

“Some tree clearing has been undertaken on private land to accommodate the new line and we want to ensure the impact of the project is minimised and offset where possible," Mr McLeod said.

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