Caption: Aurora Energy is building a new electricity substation at Omakau
Aurora Energy is getting ready to build a new electricity substation that will increase capacity and reliability of electricity supply for the Omakau community.
The project is part of the electricity distribution company’s major programme to upgrade the electricity network in Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes.
Aurora Energy General Manager Work Programming and Delivery Mark Pratt said the current substation is reaching capacity for supplying electricity to Omakau.
“There is only one transformer in the Omakau substation at the moment. We are building a new substation with a larger transformer so we can meet the growth of electricity demand for our customers and provide more reliable electricity supply into the future,” he said.
Instead of upgrading the current substation on the Ida Valley-Omakau Road, which is in a flood-risk area with no room for expansion, Aurora Energy is building a new substation on the Lauder-Omakau Road.
“The new site is larger so we’re able to build a new control/switch room building, we’ll have room for an additional transformer and also room for a mobile substation parking bay,” said Mr Pratt. “This project will also double the capacity of the substation, ensuring that it is adequate to meet the region’s future demand growth, and we will be installing a generator to provide emergency power supply for short periods of time if it is needed.”
Customers will also benefit from the new substation providing more options during maintenance and unplanned outages, which will mean less impact on customers. Mr Pratt said the new Omakau substation is part of Aurora Energy’s long-term strategy to have the Omakau and Lauder Flat substations providing backup to one another.
The new substation will cost $3.1m to build and is due to be completed by the end of March next year. The old substation will then be decommissioned and removed, apart from the poles.
Aurora Energy is New Zealand’s seventh largest electricity network by customer connections, supplying electricity to over 92,000 homes, farms and businesses in Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes. Aurora Energy Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dunedin City Holdings Limited, owned by the Dunedin City Council.