We are part way through an upgrade to electricity supply to Glenorchy to improve reliability and cater for increasing electricity demand now and into the future.

Project status: lines upgrade completed July 2016, generator install due for completion March 2018

In 2015 we started the upgrade of the electricity supply to the Glenorchy area. The Glenorchy Upgrade is part of Aurora Energy’s overall network development programme in Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes to enhance reliability and cater for growth.

Why is the upgrade needed?

We are carrying out two projects to improve the reliability of electricity supplies to homes, farms and businesses. We have already upgraded the high voltage power lines supplying the township and will be installing a backup generator at Glenorchy. 

Electricity is supplied to the Glenorchy area via a long, 35-kilometre, spur line from the Queenstown substation. That means in the event of a power outage, there is no alternative route to supply power.

Upgrade projects

To improve supply, we have:

  • adjusted the Closeburn area power supply to come directly from the Fernhill substation, reducing the impact of outages to Glenorchy
  • upgraded the existing Queenstown-Glenorchy line from 11kV to 33 kV, providing greater supply capacity (33kV = 33,000 volts)
  • progressed the installation of a backup generator for Glenorchy to provide temporary supply if needed.

In our planning for the upgrade, we worked to ensure minimal disruption to your electricity supply. During the project, we installed a backup generator at Closeburn that avoided the need for extended supply interruptions while we carried out the works. This generator will be permanently installed at a site in Glenorchy to provide backup in the event of future power outages.

Vegetation control

Severe weather and trees growing near or into overhead lines are the main cause of damage to power lines, and of power outages in Glenorchy. We have cleared trees from the power lines supplying Glenorchy, prioritising the highest-risk sites. The work has involved pruning trees at around 1,000 properties across challenging terrain. We will continue the work of liaising with tree owners and completing vegetation control on the rest of the line over the next year.

Indicative timeline

Severe winter weather conditions and summer fire risk restrict when we can carry out construction work to the periods of October-December and March-May inclusive.

Activity

Indicative Date

Foundation work for new 33kV power poles

Completed

Install temporary generator at Closeburn

Completed

Complete 33kV pole and overhead line installation

Completed

Install permanent generator at Glenorchy

March 2018

Vegetation control

Ongoing

More information

We welcome your feedback. For more information, please contact Project Manager Craig Thompson on
0800 22 00 05 or craig.thompson@auroraenergy.co.nz.

 

Glenorchy image by Vladka Kennett (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons