New poles being installed for final stage of Wanaka electricity upgrade

09 Oct 2018

The finish line is in sight for Aurora Energy’s major upgrade to the electricity supply for Wanaka, with new poles to carry high-voltage overhead lines being installed this week along Riverbank Road.

The Riverbank Road 66kV (or 66,000 volt) overhead line upgrade is the last of three stages to be built. Construction of the Riverbank Road substation and new underground cable between Ballantyne Road to the existing Wanaka substation are also nearing completion.

Once the new poles and overhead lines have been installed, commissioning works can begin to connect the new Riverbank Road substation into the Aurora Energy network. The new switching station is expected to be operating by the end of the year.

  • Work starts on Wednesday 10 October to install 12 new power poles along Riverbank Road to the intersection at Ballantyne Road, replacing the previous 16 poles.
  • The new poles along Riverbank Road are higher than the previous power poles because they carry higher voltage lines and the extra height is needed to provide safer clearance.
  • There will be 11 new steel monopoles standing approximately 14 metres above ground and one shorter concrete pole at the corner intersection.
  • Pole installation should be completed by Friday 12 October and the 1.2 kilometres of overhead lines strung the following week.

Traffic management will be in place as needed along Riverbank Road during works. Please keep well clear and stay outside the marked areas and always follow the directions of the work team. There are no power outages planned for the installation of the new monopoles.

The $9 million Wanaka upgrade is in response to increased electricity demand in the town due to local and visitor population growth. The new Riverbank Road switching station will add options to the existing Wanaka substation that will allow us to reroute supply in the event of a fault. The substation will provide a hub for the high voltage electricity supply into Wanaka and surrounding areas by taking 66kV electricity from Cromwell and control supply to the Wanaka and Cardrona substations.

New underground cables have been installed to supply power to the houses on the east side of the road replacing the need for the overhead service lines crossing the road. In some locations along Ballantyne Road the existing overhead lines will have additional conductors installed above to protect the line against lightning strike.

We thank the local community for their understanding as we carry out this improvement work and apologise for any inconvenience and disruption caused.

To find out more about the Wanaka upgrade, visit the project webpage on the Aurora Energy website under ‘Major Projects’ http://www.auroraenergy.co.nz/about/major-projects/current-projects/wanaka-upgrade/