Waikato Regional Interconnection Capacity Project

Last updated: 26 Jun 2024

Transpower is investigating what infrastructure is needed to support growing electricity use in the Waikato. 

The growing use of electricity in the Waikato reflects its growing population, new industrial developments and the electrification of transport and industrial processes. Businesses and households are switching to electricity, which is over 80% renewable, instead of using coal, gas, petrol or diesel to power their activities. By 2030, electricity use in Waikato’s regional 110 kV network is forecast be around 400 MW at peak times, up from 337 MW currently. 

Transpower is seeing a ‘pressure point’ start to emerge where the main Transpower grid connects to our regional electricity network at the Hamilton substation, so we are opening the conversation about what the Waikato region will need as we look ahead. 

What are we consulting on? 

In our long-list document, we’ve outlined different options that can work to keep the electricity supply in the Waikato both reliable and resilient as demand grows. Some of these involve investment in new transmission infrastructure, while others consider solutions such as batteries or reducing demand.

Transpower is seeking feedback on the long list of ideas and the criteria that will be used to create a short list, which is the next step. 

Following the long-list consultation, we will soon be seeking information about whether a non-transmission solution, such as a grid-scale battery or a scheme that incentivises businesses or households to reduce their power usage at peak times, could also be part of the solution for the Waikato.  

Consultation documents 

The long list consultation has closed

We received eight submissions on our long list consultation which we will be publishing on our website shortly. We are now in the process of reviewing the received feedback and deciding on the next steps of our consultation.

Upcoming timeline for this project 

  • Consultation on the long list - Tuesday 14 May to Tuesday 25 June 2024. 
  • Request for Information about possible Non-Transmission Solutions – second half of 2024 

Transpower consultations on major projects 

As the sole provider of transmission services in New Zealand, Transpower's spending on transmission assets is regulated by the Commerce Commission. Currently, projects estimated to cost over $20 million must be approved through a major capex proposal process, for Transpower to be able to recover those costs via transmission charges.