National Grid owner Transpower is seeking input from the community on where it should place a permanent connection between its two transmission lines that feed into Port Taranaki.
The project offers the potential for Transpower to reduce its physical footprint in the area.
Transpower’s General Manager for Grid Delivery, Mark Ryall says it must remove its existing substation from the Port’s land. It will connect the two existing lines supplying the Port together, to reinforce supply into the Carrington St substation.
“We are working through how we meet both the immediate need to vacate the Port, while also planning for the future.
“Initially we’re temporarily connecting the lines just outside the Port proper. However, we’re seeking the public’s feedback on a long-term solution and the best place to permanently connect them,” he says.
“We have identified five possible options – each requiring varying degrees of change and we want to hear what the local community thinks.
“For example, one option is to make the permanent location just outside the Port. However, if we locate south of the Port – say at the tank farm or even further back, we have an opportunity to remove sections of the smaller 110 kV line that goes over Spotswood and around the back of Whalers Gate.
“The further south we go to make the connection, the more of that line we can remove. However, we will then need to build more new line to span the distance between the two existing to make a connection.
“Getting community input into our options as we have them is an important part of our analysis,” he says.
One aspect that is common to all options is the need for the larger New Plymouth to Stratford line (western-most of the two lines) to initially remain.
“We need to consider the potential for future industrial development near the Port that may require high capacity electricity transmission, so we’ll be keeping that line. However, over time, if it becomes clear that the line is not needed, and the permanent location is back from the Port, then those surplus sections of line might go too,” Mr Ryall said.
If you want to have your say on Transpower’s options and you haven’t received an information pack visit Transpower’s website www.transpower.co.nz/north-taranaki-regional-supply-project.
Transpower expects to have confirmed a preferred permanent location option by the end of the year.