Aurora Energy is upgrading the high voltage underground cables running from the Halfway Bush grid exit point to the Smith Street Substation to ensure a reliable and safe supply of electricity to Dunedin's city centre.


Project status: in progress, due for completion June 2019


The upgrade is necessary to continue to provide reliable and safe electricity supply to parts of central Dunedin. The Smith Street substation supplies 2,700 homes, shops and businesses in central Dunedin, in an area from the Octagon to Highgate.

The current gas-insulated cables that supply the Smith Street substation were installed in 1959 and have reached the end of their useful lifespan. The project will replace the existing gas-insulated cables with new cables with solid insulation.

The project is valued at $5.6 million.

Subtransmission cables upgrade

The new cable runs from the Halfway Bush substation (near the Wakari dog park on Taieri Road), along Taieri Road and Stuart Street to end at the Smith Street Substation.

The work will involve digging a trench in the road, in 50-metre sections at a time and installing underground ducting and cables. The section of open trench will be fenced at all times.

Construction is planned to take place in stages between October 2018 and May 2019. Work will be carried out by our contractors Delta and Fulton Hogan.

What is a substation?

A substation is a part of the electricity supply system that carries electricity from generation sources (such as wind farms and hydro power stations) across the national grid transmission system to the local distribution system then onto consumers.

A distribution substation takes high voltage electricity and converts it to a lower voltage. Smith Street substation takes electricity at 33,000 volts (or 33kV) from the Halfway Bush grid exit substation and converts it to 11,000 volts (11kV) or 6,600 (6.6kV) for distribution via feeders to local transformers that convert it further to 230 volts for use in the home.

Will construction affect residents?

Our contractors will work to minimise disruption to Dunedin residents but the work will likely have an impact on traffic flow, parking and pedestrian access around the area where the work is being carried out.

Traffic management will be in place to ensure your safety and that of our contractors.

There are no outages planned for this work. In the unlikely event that planned power outages are required to ensure the safety of our contractors you will receive individual notification from your electricity retailer advising the specific date and time in advance.


Work of this kind can create a number of hazards. You can expect machinery and work vehicles to be operating on site so please keep well clear and stay outside the marked areas and always follow the direction of the work team. The work site will be secured at all times but caution should be exercised in the area regardless. Please warn children of the dangers and ensure they stay well back from the action.


We thank the local community for their understanding and patience while we carry out this improvement work and apologise in advance for any inconvenience and disruption that may be caused.


We welcome your feedback.

For enquiries about trenching work on the cable route, please contact Fulton Hogan Project Manager Dean Scott on 027 436 4628 or by email

For all other enquiries related to the project please contact Aurora Energy on 0800 22 00 05 or