Media Releases & News

Smith Street Substation Cable Upgrade Project

28 September 2018
Work on a major upgrade to the underground electricity cables that power parts of central Dunedin will start in October.

The local electricity network, Aurora Energy, is installing three kilometres of new high-voltage underground cables to take electricity from the Halfway Bush grid exit point substation to its Smith Street substation. The new cables will replace the existing gas-insulated cables.

The Smith Street substation supplies 2,700 homes, shops and businesses in central Dunedin, in an area from the Octagon to Highgate.

The $5.6 million cable project is expected to take about ten months to complete and is part of Aurora Energy’s long term renewal of its electricity network.

The new cable route will run from Aurora Energy’s Halfway Bush substation down Taieri Road, up and over Stuart Street and end at the Smith Street Substation.

Trenching work will begin next week to install underground ducting, starting at the Halfway Bush end near the Wakari Dog Park. Once the underground ducting is in place, the electricity cables will be pulled through the ducting in sections, joined together and then connected into the network. The cable upgrade is expected to be completed by June 2019.

As there is likely to be some traffic disruption along the cable route, traffic management will be in place to ensure the safety of the public and contractors. Contractors will notify property owners in advance before starting work in their area.

Aurora Energy has been working closely with the Dunedin City Council and our civil contractors, to plan the work and minimise disruption to road users. We thank local residents in advance for their patience as we carry out this important network upgrade.

Aurora Energy is progressively upgrading the older, gas-insulated subtransmission cables that supply central Dunedin to modern cables with solid insulation to ensure reliable electricity supply into the future.

The Anderson’s Bay cable upgrade was completed in 2013 and cables for the new Carisbrook substation were installed this year. Carisbrook substation will replace the existing Neville Street substation and is expected to be operational by the end of 2018.

To find out more about the Smith Street substation project and to keep up to date with the construction, visit the project webpage or call Aurora Energy on 0800 22 00 05.

Key facts:

  • Construction starts 1 October 2018 and is planned for completion by June 2019
  • The estimated project value is $5.6 million
  • The new cable route runs nearly 3.2 kilometres from the Halfway Bush grid exit point substation (near the Wakari dog park on Taieri Road), down Taieri Road, up and over Stuart Street to the Smith Street Substation
  • Civil contractors Fulton Hogan will be preparing the trenches and installing ducting and Delta will be installing the electricity cables in a phased approach
  • The new 33-kilovolt cables will replace older-style gas-insulated cables that were installed in 1959 and are now nearing the end of their useful life