After 47 years of service, Pole 1 was decommissioned in a small ceremony at Haywards and Benmore substations on Wednesday 1 August.
Members of the Pole 1 project team, both past and present, and representatives of the community and Transpower gathered in the valve halls at both substations to witness Pole 1 being turned off.
Pole 1 was the last major, working mercury arc valve converter station in the world. When it was built, Pole 1 represented the latest technology and New Zealand led the world. The idea of linking the North and South Islands’ electricity systems with a cable across Cook Strait and using high voltage direct current (HVDC) was a contentious issue at the time, but the project was given the green light and the HVDC link (originally Pole 1 only) was put into service in 1965.
Transpower CEO, Patrick Strange said that Pole 1 had done a great job over the years, and can retire with pride.