Upper South Island upgrade project - Long-list consultation

This was the first consultation to seek feedback about our thinking, assumptions, and possible early options for upgrades on the high-voltage electricity transmission network for the Upper South Island region.

Electricity use across the upper South Island has been rising steadily, particularly during summer, when power is used for irrigation. With the growing shift toward a lower carbon, more electrified way of life and forecast electrification of South Canterbury primary processing, demand for electricity is expected to increase further.

The grid will face voltage stability issues and thermal constraints in the future, and the investment options we are proposing will address both problems.

Hearing from those interested in potential new generation, planned commercial or residential developments, and industrial conversions from fossil fuels to electricity helps us better understand what is happening, and what the future need for electricity will be.

The information received will help us refine our thinking and planning about the options we are looking into to provide for future growth.

What did we consult on?

In this consultation, we set out a 'long-list' of development options that may contribute to meeting these needs. We sought your feedback about these possible solutions.

We recognise there may be non-transmission options that could defer the need for upgrades to our networks, so we also requested information on any such alternatives.

As well as these matters, we are also consulting on the thinking that lies behind this work - the need for investment, the electricity demand and generation scenarios on which our analysis is based, and key assumptions we will make.

Consultation documents

Our consultation information includes an Overview document and six Attachment documents, each of which focuses on a specific aspect of our consultation.

Throughout the consultation, we included questions to consider and respond to, and you were also welcome to raise other issues that are relevant to our project. 

Consultation was open from 24 August to 6 October 2023, via email to [email protected].

Consultation responses

Thank you to those who made submissions. We received both feedback on the long list options and information about possible non-transmission solutions to meet the project need and have reviewed these carefully.

See the Upper South Island Summary of Submissions for a summary of the key points raised and Transpower's response.

Individual submissions on the long list options are published below.



High-voltage towers in the South Island