Transpower, owner and operator of New Zealand’s high voltage electricity transmission network, has confirmed that around 2.5km of transmission line over Spotswood and connecting near Port Taranaki will be removed courtesy of its decision to exit Port land.
The decision follows public consultation last year into five options that would allow Transpower to exit the Taranaki Port while maintaining a secure transmission supply to New Plymouth and North Taranaki.
Public consultation finished mid-November with feedback incorporated into a wider analysis that considered nine criteria including cost, engineering, environmental, and land use effects to determine the final option.
Presently, two lines connect just outside the Port. Transpower’s decision to move that connection further south (near the Tank Farm), means the remainder of the Carrington St to New Plymouth line from the Tank Farm to the Port can be removed.
Some of the five options required building new sections of transmission line which counted against them in the analysis.
“When you consider from a number of standpoints: environmental, land use, cost and engineering building new sections of line doesn’t stack up particularly well against options that don’t require it,” said Mark Ryall, Transpower GM Delivery.
“The chosen option (Option 2) means that we are able to remove around 2.5km of transmission line, for the addition of only a small amount of new transmission line because the two lines are quite close at this point. Across our criteria this option comes out on top.”
Now that a decision has been made Transpower will begin the process of completing the design and obtaining the necessary property and environmental rights to undertake the work. Another aspect still to be determined is the future of the other line into the Port from the new connection point.
“The remaining sections of the larger Stratford to New Plymouth line, that lies closer to the coast, will also be removed after we make the new connection if no party has committed to a development proposal requiring the connection. The line needs significant ongoing maintenance, so without commitment of a proponent shortly it will be dismantled.” Mr Ryall said.
The project is expected to be completed by 2024.