Dairy demands push Powerco venture
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.