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Keeping you connected

We’re constantly looking to the future and anticipating our region’s current and future needs.

Running an electricity lines network over a 13,700 square km area is no small feat. To keep up with increasing demand, we plan and proactively upgrade our network infrastructure to ensure it remains safe, reliable and resilient, and that you continue to have power at the flick of a switch.

Planned maintenance

Like any lines network, we manage temporary network outages from time to time, for various reasons.

Planned outages occur for a number of reasons:

  • Planned maintenance on our lines, power poles, transformers, and substations.
  • Upgrading network infrastructure so it remains fit for purpose.
  • Constructing new substations or lines to handle growth.
  • Upgrading customers’ connections to accommodate additional load or meet changing technology needs.

Notifications

If your property is going to be affected by a planned outage, we’ll let you know at least four days prior via a letterbox drop.

We’ll also post outage notifications on our faults and outages page and provide updates as work progresses.

Access to property

If we need access to your property for planned work, we’ll liaise with you ahead of time to make appropriate arrangements. This may include getting access for vehicles or to our equipment, an internal meter board, or similar.

Federated Farmers has a range of fact sheets which outline landowner rights and obligations when it comes to access for lines maintenance across private land.

Emergency situations require unrestricted access.

Timing

We understand being without power is inconvenient. Choosing when we complete planned maintenance is a careful balancing act involving many factors but public safety and that of our team is paramount.

We also consider seasonal activities like lambing, calving, and peak milk production, as well as weather, power demand, regulatory requirements and community priorities.

Faults

Our priority is to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

From time to time, we may experience intermittent faults. Our team is out there every working day making sure you have power when you need it.

Why faults occur

Faults occur for many reasons including bad weather, trees or other debris falling on lines, snow, vehicle accidents, or unexpected equipment failure.

Working safely

While we do our best to resolve faults quickly, there may be times when we need to work alongside emergency services, locate faults in remote areas, or contend with large-scale weather events.

This can cause slight delays, but please be assured we’re working hard to investigate and restore power to you. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

What's planned for our network

Demand for electricity on our network continues to grow. Farming, commercial and industrial business growth across the network, along with population increases predicted for northern areas, mean there’s more demand for power.

We’ve planned for that and have a number of upgrades and other network investments underway to make sure our region is well positioned for future economic development opportunities.

Hangatiki substation upgrade

Completed March 2021

We’re committed to providing a secure supply to the 9,000 customers who get their power from the substation site shared with Transpower on Waitomo Caves Road.

We’re expecting ongoing growth and development in the wider Waitomo/Ōtorohanga/Te Kuiti area to add around 15 Megawatt (MW) extra electrical load to Hangatiki by 2023.

Adding a third transformer caters to the increasing demand that’s coming from farms, meat works, the iron sands mine, a proposed new dairy factory facility, and residential growth.

The additional 30MW transformer arrived at Hangatiki in December and over the next few months, we’re assembling and adding high voltage connections, cooling systems and other control equipment to it, before testing, commissioning and finally connecting it to our network.

This work on the near-new, third transformer, which adds 20MW – or a 50% increase – to the substation’s current 20MW capacity, is scheduled from December 2018 through to the end of February 2019.

 

Kuratau line renewal and substation upgrade

Stage one
Completed November 2019

Stage two
Completed February 2021

Stage three
Completion July 2021

Between now and the end of 2021 we’re making around $1.4 million of improvements to the lines and substation servicing over 1600 of our customers on the western side of Lake Taupō.

This work is to increase supply reliability, reduce outages and speed up restoration time.

 

 

 

Line renewal work

We’ve now completed stage two of our line renewal in and around the area.

Stage three will be completed by July 2021.

As part of this project we’ll be replacing the transformer at the Kuratau substation.

 

Te Waireka substation upgrade

Stage one
Completed December 2018

Stage two
Completed December 2020

Stage three
Completion 2021

While the current demand from our Te Waireka substation at Ōtorohanga was being met, the town and surrounding area are growing, needing more electricity in the future.

Stage one upgrade

Over a 12 month period in 2018, we replaced Te Waireka’s transformers with two bigger ones to increase the amount of power we can supply from it.

Stage two upgrade

Due to COVID-19, completion was pushed to December 2020. We upgraded one of the substation’s switch rooms to one big enough for the larger size and capacity of the new equipment.

 

Stage three

2020-2021 we’re replacing the 2nd substation switch room.

 

 

Tūrangi alternate supply

Stage one
Completed 2020

Stage two
In design

Currently the second stage of this supply upgrade is in design. We are committed to improve quality of supply.

 

 

Stage One

At an estimated cost of around $300,000, the first stage  upgraded the Awamate – Waiotaka – Kiko Road cable that crosses the Tongariro River bridge.

This provides better back up supply and quicker reconnection of most outages to around 1200 customers in that area.

Stage Two

The second and more complex stage is currently being scoped and expected to be a multi-million dollar project.

It involves installing new cable to the Tūrangi substation to provide a more reliable supply to our 2000 Tūrangi customers.

 

Waitete Substation Project

Started
January 2021

Completion
March 2022

New substation project

At an estimated cost of $4.5 million, this new substation across the road from our Waitete depot is a major project for TLC.

 

substation completion

The new substation is planned to be completed in March 2022.

LiDAR Survey

Started
March 2021

Completion
May 2021

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging and is a technology that allows objects to be shown as a series of data points. It can be used by a drone or a helicopter.

We are using the technology for the first time to build a comprehensive 3D view of our power line assets.

The survey will help improve the reliability of the network by providing detailed data-driven views of the infrastructure. This way we know which lines need improvements and which trees need trimming or felling.

 

LiDAR Completion

As of 28 April 2021 we had completed approx. 950km of network and are completing around 350km per day (subject to weather).

When completed we will have surveyed 4200km, this is expected to be completed by the end of May 2021 (subject to weather).