Electricity upgrade supporting Taranaki Base Hospital redevelopment

 

Powerco is helping enable stage two of the $300 million Taranaki Base Hospital redevelopment (Project Maunga) with the upgrade of the electricity network in western New Plymouth.

As well as work on the hospital site, upgrades are taking place on power poles, lines, transformers and other equipment between our Moturoa Substation, through Lynmouth, to the hospital. This work started in August and, barring any COVID-19 alert level changes, is expected to be completed by the end of October.

This work will ensure the overhead line has sufficient capacity for the new hospital electricity loads.

Work will begin next year installing an underground cable from Moturoa to Lynmouth to further secure the supply to the hospital, with further underground cabling planned in 2023 from the Brooklands Substation to the hospital.

Powerco Electricity Commercial and Retailer Manager Kathy Thomas says the significant upgrade in hospital facilities requires an increase in the level of capacity for electricity supply to the David St site.

Stage two of Project Maunga will see the construction of a new ‘East Wing’ building – a 20,000m2, six-storey building housing many of Taranaki Base Hospital’s acute clinical services including the Emergency Department, ICU, Maternity, Primary Birthing, Neonatal, Radiology, Laboratory, and a roof-top helipad. In other work, the redevelopment involves the construction of a new Renal Unit, Energy Centre, computer room, as well as an upgrade to critical site wide infrastructure.

“From December next year, the electricity load going to the hospital will increase from 1.3MVA (mega volt amp) to 3.5MVA. Since August 2019, we’ve been actively engaged with the Taranaki District Health Board Project Maunga Team and its consultant BECA, as requirements have been confirmed, feasibility studies undertaken, and options discussed,” Kathy Thomas says.

“An exciting aspect of Project Maunga is the commitment to delivering a sustainable development. The project team is working hard to meet its target of five-star Greenstar certification for the new East Wing building, the first healthcare facility to do so. The Renal Unit is targeting Net Zero Energy certification, meaning that over a year the building will have a net zero energy consumption,” Kathy Thomas says.

“To meet this increased hospital loading, upgrading and reconfiguring of the present hospital site electricity network supply from Tukapa Street and Lyn St ends is required, via reconfiguring of an 11kV (kilovolt) feeder from Moturoa substation. A new 11kV feeder will run from Brooklands substation, involving 4km of underground cable and some on-site enabling works.”

The customer-initiated upgrade will improve the reliability of the electricity network to the hospital and the community.

To enable the work, a series of planned, intermittent power outages are required for the electricity network upgrade to the hospital, Powerco Customer Experience Manager Haydn Davies says.

“To keep people’s electricity supply reliable, as well as enable growth such as the development at Taranaki Base Hospital, we need to turn the power off from time to time to work safely. We know it’s difficult to be without power and we’re committed to reducing the impact on our residential and commercial customers in the area, who have different needs,” he says.

“We thank customers for their ongoing patience as we complete this essential work, which will not only support the hospital supply, but improve the reliability and security of the power supply in the area into the future.”

 

Milestones

August - October 2021

Power poles, lines, transformers and other electrical equipment are upgraded between Moturoa substation, through Lynmouth, to Taranaki Base Hospital.

 

2022

Installation of unground cable from Moturoa substation to Lyn St to further secure the supply to the hospital.

 

2023

Extension of the existing feeder from Brooklands Substation by installing an underground cable to the hospital. Final configuration will see the Brooklands feeder become the dedicated power supply to the hospital, with the Moturoa-Lynmouth cable as back-up power supply.

 

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