Power out­age

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News -

On Mon­day last week Taupo¯, Kin­loch and nearby ar­eas suf­fered a 10-hour power out­age em­a­nat­ing from the Trans­power Wairakei switch­yard. This was the sec­ond such sig­nif­i­cant power out­age ex­pe­ri­enced in this dis­trict dur­ing the last year. Ap­par­ently Uni­son is in­ves­ti­gat­ing why this hap­pened. What Uni­son will need to find out is:

■ Was the 33KV fault caused by equip­ment from T29 trans­former bank or from the 33KV sub­sta­tion near the old train­ing school or from the in­ter­con­nect­ing PILC ca­bles?

■ Was the fault due to age­ing equip­ment which had not been main­tained?

■ Are there cur­rently ad­e­quate spare com­po­nents avail­able for the age­ing (circa 1957) T29 trans­former bank in­clud­ing associated CTs and VTs?

■ What al­ter­na­tive source of sup­ply is avail­able if the 33KV from T29 fails — Bill Hard­ing’s let­ter from last week is rel­e­vant here.

■ If Trans­power has dif­fi­cul­ties pro­vid­ing re­li­able power sup­plies to the Taupo¯ dis­trict, why can­not Trust­power, Con­tact En­ergy or Mercury En­ergy re­place them? Out­side of Uni­son’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion is it the li­a­bil­ity of Trans­power to re­im­burse the af­fected cus­tomers who lost power and rev­enue such as Mercury, En­ergy On­line, other en­ergy util­i­ties, 15,963 cus­tomers in the re­tail and in­dus­trial sec­tors and 25,000 do­mes­tic cus­tomers in the Taupo¯ area? Who is ad­dress­ing this re­quire­ment? Af­ter the last power out­age no ex­pla­na­tion of what was hap­pen­ing or not hap­pen­ing was pro­vided to the Taupo pub­lic. The lo­cal ra­dio sta­tions had no in­for­ma­tion to ad­vise the pub­lic. In this area the Trans­power PR man­agers fell down badly and were silent. Does all of this dis­ap­point­ing news mean that an­other power in­dus­try re­struc­tur­ing is re­quired? Af­ter all of the time which has elapsed since the break-up of NZ Elec­tric­ity Depart­ment in 1987 do we not have a smooth-run­ning ex­tremely ef­fi­cient and re­li­able pow­er­pro­vid­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion avail­able af­ter the many re­struc­tur­ings that oc­curred? Even in 2018 the say­ing “It’s not where we want to be, it’s where we are!” is rel­e­vant.

J R LOUISSON

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