We’ve carried out a series of projects to update ageing equipment in Inglewood, a growth area in Taranaki.
This part of our network was using 6.6kV equipment, which we’ve been phasing out across Taranaki as we work towards a standardised 11kV network. Standardising the network means we can be more efficient in the way we work and the equipment we purchase.
The work, which has included replacing poles, crossarms, lines, transformers and installing new cable links, will provide a reliable power supply and reduce the risk of 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.
This $4.7 million network upgrade was carried out across a number of phases.
In 2021 we replaced poles and crossarms to bring ageing equipment up to standard and installed 11kV line, replacing the existing 6.6KV line to increase capacity of supply.
We also installed new cable links to re-distribute load and provide the ability to backfeed some areas in the event of outages, including a new cable along Rata Street to remove the dual lines supplying Elliot and Carrington Streets. This work will reduce the number of customers impacted when an outage does occur, because our operators are able to re-route supply.
During 2021-22, we replaced about 100 6.6kV transformers with dual 6.6kV/11kV transformers in preparation for the changeover to 11kV. We also installed two new auto-transformers to switch between 6.6kV and 11kV to enable our Network Operations team to backfeed to both the 11kV and the remaining 6.6kV parts of the Inglewood area if needed.
With the installation work complete, in February 2023 we began the changeover from 6.6kV to 11kV at our Inglewood substation. That required all of our newly installed dual 6.6kV/11kV transformers to be changed over, too.
The changeover process was completed by the end of March 2023. While we carefully planned this project to enable us to complete as much work as possible with the least amount of disruption, so that our crews could work safely, a series of planned power outages were needed for Inglewood customers, ranging from two to six hours in length. So that customers were prepared for the planned outages, we contacted them ahead of time via email, providing them with a dedicated contact for them to ask questions and provide any feedback. We also advertised the work and outages on the local Inglewood social media page, through the local community newspaper, and by notifying stakeholders such as the local councillor.
Downer completed this project on our behalf.