Dairy de­mands push Pow­erco ven­ture

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Busi­ness is boom­ing in Wa­haroa, push­ing Pow­erco to up­grade the area’s sub­sta­tion.

The power provider spent $ 1.8 mil­lion by in­stalling a 17MVA trans­former, which is ca­pa­ble of pow­er­ing 8500 house­holds.

The new switched on last month.

The up­grade is one of sev­eral since the Wa­haroa sub­sta­tion opened eight years ago with a 5MVA trans­former.

Pow­erco elec­tric­ity ser­vice de­liv­ery man­ager Dave Ham­mond said the latest up­grade was aimed at both meet­ing cur­rent de­mand and trans­former was for the first time fu­ture-proof­ing the area for con­tin­ued growth.

‘‘Wa­haroa is a small in­dus­trial pocket that just keeps grow­ing. We see our in­vest­ment in the area as cru­cial to sup­port­ing that growth,’’ he said.

‘‘ The elec­tric­ity load is ex­pected to come up to 10MVA by 2019. We wanted to make sure we had the ca­pac­ity to meet this de­mand and be­yond.’’

An ex­pan­sion by Open Coun­try Dairy Lim­ited, one of the largest elec­tric­ity con­sumers in the area, was one of the cat­a­lysts for the up­grade.

Dairy com­pa­nies, cool stores and new busi­nesses com­ing into the area were the main sources of growth in elec­tric­ity use.

‘‘The av­er­age dairy farm uses twice as much elec­tric­ity as it did 20 years ago, due to more strin­gent ef­flu­ent treat­ment and re­frig­er­a­tion re­quire­ments,’’ Ham­mond said.

‘‘There is also a mix of dif­fer­ent busi­nesses com­ing into the area. With its cen­tral lo­ca­tion and easy ac­cess to Ro­torua, Tau­ranga, Hamil­ton and Auck­land, Wa­haroa is well placed for dis­tri­bu­tion, with­out the set- up costs of larger cen­tres. ’’

Pow­erco is New Zealand’s sec­ond largest elec­tric­ity and gas dis­tri­bu­tion util­ity with around 420,000 con­sumers con­nected to its net­works.

Pow­erco spent $1.8 mil­lion on a new trans­former in Wa­haroa.

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