Urgent need for another power cable to North

Press Release – North Shore City

Today’s outage throws into sharp relief the urgent need for a reliable electricity supply for the North Shore, says Mayor Andrew Williams.
30 October 2009
Urgent need for another power cable to North Shore and Northland says Mayor Williams.

Today’s outage throws into sharp relief the urgent need for a reliable electricity supply for the North Shore, says Mayor Andrew Williams.

“A third line would secure a reliable supply and prevent the widespread disruption to traffic, workplaces and businesses that our residents and all of Northland suffered this morning,” he says.

Transpower has confirmed that the Otahuhu to Henderson 220 kV line was damaged by a forklift while the only other circuit was out for maintenance, causing loss of supply for about 280,000 consumers from North Auckland and Northland.

“This once again underlines the fact that the North Shore and the whole of Northland are in an extremely vulnerable position,” he says.

“Currently the two high voltage lines that feed the area from Mount Roskill to Cape Reinga, including the North Shore, are carried on a single string of very vulnerable towers.

“These lines run over houses and across the harbour and in the event of a fault they would be very difficult to repair. Transpower must, with great urgency, provide a separate supply route.”

He says that the North Shore City Council welcomed, and did its utmost to facilitate, the installation of ducts when the North Shore Busway was constructed two years ago. The expectation was that the 220kv cables would be installed at the same time as the ducts, or at least shortly afterwards.

“However we are still waiting, because of delays caused by the Electricity Commission and I have now been told that the new cable might be deferred until 2013 or even 2016.

“This is absolutely unacceptable; the Electricity Commission has finally made the right decision and allowed the project to proceed and now this line must be put in place as a matter of the utmost urgency. I will be again taking up this issue with the responsible Ministers.”

Mayor Williams says that the cost to the North Shore and Northland’s economy and reputation far outweighs the cost of installing a reliable electricity supply.

“North of the harbour bridge, we have close to 750,000 people, countless businesses including New Zealand’s only oil refinery, two ports, the New Zealand Navy and Air Force, numerous hospitals and medical clinics, and several large computer data centres and telecommunications hubs.

“A reliable electricity supply is fundamental to every developed community. Every day that the new cable is delayed risks further damage to our reputation and our economy.”

ENDS

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