Aurora upgrades Queenstown power supply infrastructure

Nov 10, 2023

Aurora Energy is upgrading its Queenstown zone substation in a move it says should improve the reliability of local power supplies.

“This substation supplies electricity to over 2,600 customers in the Queenstown and Glenorchy area. It is an important asset as it also connects to substations at Commonage and Fernhill, and also the Frankton Grid Exit Point where Aurora Energy connects to Transpower’s national grid,” general manager service delivery Richard Starkey says.

“We know our Queenstown customers expect a reliable supply, in particular increasing capacity as customers continue to choose to electrify their homes and businesses. We want to ensure we can enable these future energy choices and a robust network is central to our region’s efforts to decarbonise.” 

Before the upgrade gets underway, a new retaining wall is being constructed to ensure the long-term stability of the site.

“Replacing the retaining wall means we can make sure the new buildings can be constructed to an earthquake rating of ‘Importance Level 4’, meaning they must be operational immediately after an earthquake or other major disaster,” Mr Starkey says.

“The project site is close to a school and kindergarten and for safety reasons we’ve had to temporarily close the walkway between these and Brecon St. We have installed a sign around the site to let people know the alternative route. We have also been in contact with the school and kindergarten, as well as local businesses, as we appreciate the impact that closing the walking may have, however for safety reasons it is unavoidable.” 

Upgrading the substation involves building a new control room and switchgear building, putting in new indoor 11 kV switchgear, and replacing the electrical protection and control systems.

Work to upgrade the substation will start in 2024 and continue into 2025. This project will also lay the groundwork for the future outdoor 33 kV switchgear replacement project, where a new indoor switchgear building will be constructed after 2030. 

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