Major electricity network upgrades relieve capacity constraints in Cromwell supply area

11 Dec 2015

Major capacity upgrades to the Aurora Energy network have enabled normal contracting arrangements for design and construction of irrigation connections in the Cromwell supply area to resume.

Ssays General Manager Asset Management, Derek Todd: "In December 2013, very rapid growth in irrigation demand in the Central Otago region made it necessary for Aurora Energy to manage any applications for new or upgraded irrigation connections via its principal contractor, Delta.

"The temporary measure enabled Aurora Energy to carefully plan its network upgrades and investments. Ensuring efficient network development is in the long term interests of both Aurora and electricity consumers by avoiding over or under investment in supply capacity.

"Since then, Aurora Energy has made an investment of in excess of $10 million in network capacity in the Cromwell supply area, including new substations at Lindis Crossing and Camp Hill, Hawea and associated upgrades to the high voltage network.

"As a result, Aurora Energy will now resume normal contracting arrangements within the Cromwell GXP (grid exit point) supply area, effective immediately. From today, irrigation developments within the Cromwell GXP supply area may be undertaken by any Aurora-authorised distribution contractor.

"As a temporary measure, Aurora Energy will continue to require any applications for irrigation connections within the Clyde GXP supply area to be managed by Delta. We expect to resume normal contracting arrangements for irrigation connections in the Clyde supply area once we have completed major capacity upgrades there. Major projects underway include new substations at Lauder Flat and Omakau and associated upgrades to the high voltage network.

“Over the next decade, Aurora Energy has $122 million of capital investment planned in Central Otago to enhance reliability and cater for growth,” says Mr Todd.