Contracting Capabilities

Northpower provides contracting services across the North Island including engineering, infrastructure management and maintenance and construction.

Powering through the substation upgrades

Over the past year, Northpower has been working on upgrading three sub-stations at Ngunguru, Parua Bay and Hikurangi. Population growth in all these areas, as well as aging equipment meant it was timely to upgrade.

These are the first of thirteen substations to be upgraded over the next 10 years. An upgrade to the Parua Bay substation has been completed a month ahead of time and within budget.

The 3.75MW transformer installed in 1956 has been upgraded to a new 5MW transformer to allow for growth in the area, capable of supplying at least 2,500 households.

Bunding, fire and earthquake protection and noise emission has also been improved as part of the project.

Improving reliablitiy

A substation upgrade including a new building to house safer and more reliable switchboards, and a new transformer for the Ngunguru substation has been completed. The transformer size has increased from 3.5MW to 5MW to meet future growth in the area. The project work is complete, and the team are now working on landscaping and planting to finish the final look.

The Hikurangi sub-station which serves 3,230 customers has had new transformers installed, doubling the capacity of the sub-station to allow for growth over the next ten years. The switchboards were also upgraded, which will improve reliability and operator safety. The $4.8m project has taken a year and has finished on time and within budget.

Planning is now underway for three more substations with upgrades starting this year at Ruawai, Poroti, Kaiwaka and Kensington.

Work on the Ruawai substation will start in a few weeks. This project involves a new building to house new modern switch boards and control equipment. A new larger transformer will be installed with an increased capacity of 5 MW. We will also be future proofing this substation by making room available for a second transformer that may be needed in the future.

Meanwhile design work is underway for Poroti, Kensington and Kaiwaka substations with work to begin at Poroti later this year.

“It is pleasing to deliver these large substation projects on time and within budget, especially despite the impacts of Covid over the past 24 months” says Josie Boyd, General Manager Northpower Network, “we look forward to continuing this program of substation upgrades, which are essential to ensuring a reliable and safe electricity supply to the community.”

Northpower’s ten-year asset investment programme includes thirteen substation upgrades among the forecast $251m in capital investment.