Mobile substation

Our mobile substation enables us to keep our customers' power on while we work.

The $2.2 million vehicle was built in Greymouth in 2019 and arrived in the North Island to start work on our electricity network in early 2020.

It allows us to bypass zone substations during planned maintenance and upgrades, which is more convenient for our customers as there are no planned outages to allow the work to go ahead.

From a safety perspective, using the mobile substation means our field crews no longer work near live equipment, and it removes the pressure to complete maintenance within a scheduled planned outage time.

Mobile substation snapshot

  • Power bypasses zone substations and flows through the mobile
  • Allows safe maintenance and installation work on zone substations
  • No disruption during switching from normal supply to the mobile substation
  • Eliminates the need for lengthy planned outages during substation work
  • Can be deployed in the event of major unplanned substation faults
  • Powerco maintains 115 zone substations on its network
  • Mobile substation weighs 38 tonne and is 15.7m long
  • Specifications allow unrestricted movement on New Zealand roads
  • Engineered to withstand the shocks of road travel
  • Trained team of contractors oversee each mobile installation
  • Only takes a couple of days to set mobile up at most sites
Watch below as Powerco Works Project Manager Taranaki and Whanganui, Mike Carson, takes you on a tour of the mobile substation while it was on the job in Douglas, eastern Taranaki.

Latest project update

Monday, July 31, 2023
Our mobile substation has been keeping customers powered in the South Taranaki community of Eltham.


March 2020
Substation on the move
After being constructed in 2019 and testing completed, the mobile substation makes its way from the South Island, where it was built, to Whanganui.


July 2020
Deployed to Douglas
The mobile substation is installed at Douglas Substation in Taranaki, allowing customers to remain connected while essential upgrades, repairs and general maintenance is carried out on the substation.


March 2021
Supporting Pātea
The mobile substation moves to the Livingston Substation in South Taranaki to ensure security of supply for Pātea and surrounding communities after a number of unplanned outages.


June 2021

On the move

The mobile substation moves to Whanganui’s Castlecliff substation to enable maintenance to take place on the substation’s 33kV switchboard and a protection upgrade.


October 2021

Supporting Whanganui

Between October 2021 and September 2022, the mobile substation was been set-up in the central Whanganui carpark of Mitre 10 Mega to enable the building of a new 11kV switchboard and switchgear at adjacent Taupo Quay Substation.


September 2022 onwards

Heading north

So our Eltham customers can remain connected while we work, the mobile substation has been operating at the Eltham substation to enable an upgrade.

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