Aurora Energy chief executive Grady Cameron says: “Later this month, we’ll be upgrading the supply voltage to Ōtākou from 6,600 volts to 11,000 volts (or 6.6kV to 11kV). By increasing the voltage, we can deliver power more efficiently and reliably to the Ōtākou area. We’ll also be modernising the existing distribution transformers to operate at 11kV. This will reduce the complexity of supplying electricity to the area and improve the reliability of supply.
“To upgrade the network safely, we need to turn the power off while we carry out the work. We would like to advise electricity consumers that electricity outages are planned in Ōtākou during March 2015. Affected electricity consumers will also be individually notified by their electricity retailer.
“The first outage is planned for up to four hours during the period Monday 16 March to Wednesday 25 March. Affected electricity consumers will receive individual notification from their electricity retailer advising the specific date and time. We’ll replace the existing distribution transformers with new ones that can operate at the higher voltage. During this work, our contractor, Delta, will be working on power poles at multiple sites on the peninsula. There will be localised traffic disruption at some sites. Traffic management will be in place to ensure the safety of the public and our contractors.
“The second outage is planned from 8:00am to 6:00pm on Thursday 26 March. We’ll be changing over the voltage to 11kV on that day. In the event that the work is unable to be done then, the planned outage will occur from 8:00am to 6:00pm on Tuesday 31 March.
“We will update this advice if the situation changes. We thank electricity consumers for their patience as we carry out this improvement work and apologise in advance for any inconvenience and disruption that may be caused. People using medical equipment that relies on electricity should advise their electricity retailer and ensure they are prepared for power interruptions. If there is an immediate health threat, please contact your health provider or call 111. Always treat all electricity lines and equipment as live at all times.
The Ōtākou Voltage Upgrade is part of Aurora Energy’s overall network development programme. Over the next decade, $236 million of capital investment is planned in Dunedin and Central Otago to enhance reliability and cater for growth.