Aurora Energy has improved the power supply to the Ōtākou area on the Otago Peninsula to provide more reliable electricity supplies to homes, farms and businesses. We increased the voltage supply to Ōtākou from 6,600 volts to 11,000 volts, to enable power to be delivered more efficiently.

Project status: completed March 2015

The Ōtākou Voltage Upgrade is part of Aurora Energy’s overall network development programme. Over the next decade, $236 million of capital investment is planned in Dunedin and Central Otago to enhance reliability and cater for growth.

Why was the upgrade needed?

By increasing the voltage supply from 6,600 volts (or 6.6kV) to 11,000 volts (or 11kV), we can deliver power more efficiently and reliably to the Ōtākou area. We also modernised the existing distribution transformers to operate at 11kV. These changes have reduced the complexity of supplying electricity to the area and will improve the reliability of supply.

How is electricity supplied to Ōtākou?

Electricity is transported from generation sources (such as a wind farms and hydro power stations) across the national grid transmission system to the local distribution system then on to consumers. To supply power to the Ōtākou area, Aurora Energy takes high voltage electricity from the Transpower substation in Halfway Bush to the Port Chalmers substation, where it is converted from 33,000 volts (or 33kV) to a lower voltage of 11,000 volts (11kV). The power is then carried on pylons over the harbour, then distributed along the peninsula to Ōtākou to local transformers that convert it further to 230 volts for use in the home and on farm.

Otakou After the upgrade