The successful completion of an electricity supply upgrade for New Plymouth is being celebrated today by Transpower, owner and operator of the National Grid, and local lines company Powerco. New Plymouth is the port and main city in the Taranaki region on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand.

Two new transformers have been installed at Transpower’s New Plymouth substation in Carrington Street. As part of the project, other substation equipment including new switchgear has also been installed.

The $9 million, eight-month project has substantially increased the capacity of the Carrington Street substation. The previous transformers each had a rating of 60 MVA. The new transformers each have a rating of 75 MVA and will meet projected load growth in the New Plymouth area up to, and beyond, 2030.

Transpower’s GM National Grid David Laurie said the works undertaken will help to increase security of supply to the New Plymouth area.

“The completion of the project is the culmination of Transpower and Powerco working together to determine an effective solution to meet the increasing New Plymouth load.”

Powerco Network Asset Strategy Manager Michael Whaley said the project represented a significant investment in the local electricity infrastructure.

“Powerco is committed to ensuring the region’s electricity infrastructure provides a solid platform on which the local economy can continue to grow.

“This project sends a positive message to businesses looking to expand in or move to the New Plymouth district – the region is well placed to accommodate future growth. The energy infrastructure is already in place and future-proofed for at least the next 20 years.”

David Laurie said implementation of the project went very smoothly. “Good project planning and the skill of the contractors meant no unplanned disruption to end users occurred during the upgrade.”

The principal contractors for the project were ABB (for works at the Transpower site) and Electrix, with considerable input from Tenix (for works at the Powerco site). The main equipment suppliers were Pauwells Transformers and Wilson Transformer (transformers) and ABB Switchgear (switchgear).