Aurora Energy General Manager Operations and Network Performance Matt Settle said there were several unrelated faults that resulted in customers being impacted by unplanned power outages at various times.
“We are doing work in the area to upgrade the electricity network and late last week one of the main power lines that supplies the area had a planned outage to keep our contractors safe while they were replacing power poles. Unfortunately, the second line tripped and the team responded as quickly as possible to get power back on for our customers. The cause was not immediately obvious but was ultimately tracked down to a defective insulator that has now been replaced,” he said.
“We are grateful to our contractors who respond to faults around the clock and work hard to get power restored to customers as quickly as possible,” Mr Settle said. “It’s unfortunate that we’ve had a number of outages in the same area over a short timeframe and apologise to our customers for the inconvenience we know this caused them.”
Another outage happened earlier this week when electrical circuits were being reconfigured and the line tripped, following a new insulator being installed. “This event is being investigated as we believe our operational response was not optimal and outages could have been avoided,” Mr Settle said.
Last night a fault with a transformer in Wanaka caused a number of customers to have a power cut. This is still being investigated and Aurora Energy hopes to have power restored today.
Aurora Energy has a five-year work programme to invest in upgrades to the electricity network in Central Otago, Queenstown Lakes and Dunedin, after a history of under-investment. In early March a project to replace four power poles, two cross arms and various protection equipment in the Pisa Moorings and Lowburn area will help improve the quality of electricity supply. Some customers will have a planned outage while this work is being carried out and will receive notification closer to the time.
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.