Final stage of Inglewood electricity upgrade to begin
The final stage of a $4.7 million upgrade of Inglewood’s electricity network is set to begin in early February.
The work, which began in 2021, has included replacing poles, crossarms, lines, transformers and installing new cable links.
Powerco General Manager Electricity Karen Frew says the Inglewood upgrade, which has been carried out in three phases, will enable the continued reliability of the town’s power supply and reduce the risk of future outages.
“It’s also a future-proof solution to meet the area’s growing electricity demand and will ensure there’s enough capacity to serve local businesses and homes into the future,” she says.
During the first stage of the work, in 2021, Powerco field crews replaced poles and crossarms to bring ageing equipment up to standard and installed an 11kV power line, replacing the existing 6.6kV line, to increase power supply capacity to the town.
“We also installed new cable links to re-distribute load and allow us to backfeed some areas if there’s a power outage. The work will reduce the number of customers impacted when an outage does occur, because our operators will be able to re-route supply,” Karen Frew says.
In late 2021-early 2022, around 100, 6.6kV transformers in Inglewood were replaced with dual 6.6kV/11kV transformers in preparation for the changeover to 11kV.
“Now, with the installation work complete, we’re beginning the changeover from 6.6kV to 11kV at our Inglewood substation. That requires all our newly installed dual 6.6kV/11kV transformers to be changed over, too.
“The changeover process is expected to continue through until the end of March, unless progress allows the work to be completed earlier. So that our crews can work safely, a series of planned power outages are needed for Inglewood customers, ranging from two to six hours in length.
“We understand any power outage can be inconvenient. For this reason, we’ve carefully planned this project to enable us to complete as much work as possible with the least amount of disruption,” Karen Frew says.
“I’d like to personally thank our Inglewood residential and business customers for their patience and understanding while this essential final upgrade is carried out.”
To help customers prepare for the planned outages, customers’ energy retailers (the company people pay their power bill to) should give advance notice for each address as the outages are confirmed.
Customers can also check their address for upcoming outages as they are confirmed at powerco.co.nz/planned-power-outages.
A dedicated webpage powerco.co.nz/Inglewood has also been set up, which will be updated as the project progresses.
Downer is completing this project on Powerco's behalf.