Landslip-threatened Coromandel power lines being moved

Friday, April 21, 2023
Electricity lines company Powerco is moving power poles and lines in a remote rural area of the Coromandel Peninsula as a landslip threatens the area’s power supply.

Following Cyclone Gabrielle, a helicopter fly-over of the remote rural 11kV power line south-west of Colville on the upper Coromandel Peninsula, identified a large landslip on steep farmland, Powerco General Manager Electricity Karen Frew says.

“The Coromandel Peninsula community have been hit hard by recent extreme weather, not only Cyclone Gabrielle but heavy rain. 

“This landslip goes through the middle of two power poles. Power supply hasn’t been affected yet, but we are concerned that if the poles and lines aren’t re-routed, they could be affected in the next significant wet weather event, which could mean outages for the Colville area,” Karen Frew says.

Engineers have assessed the slip and while the immediate risk of the poles slipping is considered low, the poles and lines are expected to be moved early next month (May).

The plan is to replace the poles with one pole only, on a nearby site that’s less likely to be disturbed by the landslip. A helicopter will be needed for this work because of access issues.

“We know that low-flying helicopters can unsettle some animals and urge the rural Colville Rd community to contact us if they would like to discuss flight and work details further,” Karen Frew says.

A dedicated project webpage has been set up with more information and contact details. 

To keep crews safe, a seven-hour long planned power outage will be needed for 15 customers. Generation will be provided for the other customers who are supplied electricity on that line.

If your property will be affected by an outage, your power company – the one who sends you your electricity invoice – will let you know the details of the outage (including the date and time) as soon as it’s confirmed. Once confirmed, the outage and an alternative date will also be visible on Powerco’s planned outages webpage.

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