December 20, 2023

PowerNet and Transpower publish plan to enable Murihiku Southland’s electrification

  • Kathryn McCoy
  • 2 min read

PowerNet and Transpower today released a plan for Murihiku Southland’s electricity networks that will enable local communities and businesses to electrify and grow.

PowerNet Chief Executive Jason Franklin said the Murihiku Southland Electrification Development Plan was a result of local stakeholders, developers and large industrial and commercial users of energy identifying where the use of electricity would increase, and Transpower and PowerNet working together to enable that.

“Murihiku Southland businesses have told us they have plans to decarbonise, and we also know that new renewable generation is in the pipeline. As these plans become confirmed and are delivered, we will liaise with stakeholders to deliver a customer-informed network capacity plan that enables electricity to get to where it’s needed.”

The Murihiku Southland Electrification Development plan includes short-term upgrades to both companies’ networks and longer-term projects that have been identified for further investigation.

The first of the short-term upgrades is a special protection scheme on Transpower’s 110 kV transmission lines linking Gore with Roxburgh and Brydone. This project, planned for delivery in 2025, will automatically monitor and manage electricity flows.

Transpower General Manager Strategy and Customer Chantelle Bramley said the upgrade will allow the transmission lines to carry more electricity without overloading.

“This will in turn enable increasing amounts of renewable generation, like wind, to connect to the grid in the region and still maintain the stability of the network. Businesses and communities can then electrify with confidence,” she said.

Ms Bramley said the other projects will also ensure continued access to reliable electricity as electricity demand and supply grows.

“As business and developer plans firm up, we are ready to make sure the infrastructure is there to meet the electricity needs,” she said.

Transpower’s two short-term, tactical upgrades are:

  • Implementing Special Protection Schemes at regional substations
  • Undertaking a Tactical Thermal Upgrade of the Invercargill–North Makarewa circuit to increase capacity

PowerNet’s two major projects are:

  • Undertaking a 66kV network development to the Awarua Region
  • Increasing transferable load between Invercargill and North Makarewa via the 66kV network.

Transpower’s two major projects for further investigation are:

  • Duplexing the North Makarewa to Three Mile Hill line
  • Upgrading or developing grid exit points, for example at Edendale.

Ms Bramley said that Transpower and PowerNet have valued the discussion and input received to create the roadmap.

“We encourage potential developers of renewable generation, as well as major users of electricity who are looking for additional capacity, to continue to engage with Transpower and PowerNet as your plans become confirmed,” she said.

“Together we can develop the infrastructure needed to meet Southland’s growing demand for renewable electricity.”

View the Murihiku Southland Electrification Development Plan.

For further information, please contact:

Rachael Drummond, Senior Corporate Communications Advisor, 021 394 803.