Back up diesel generators at Top Energy’s Taipa substation kept the power flowing during the transmission outage last Thursday.

Top Energy Chief Executive Russell Shaw says the two 2MW generators at Taipa Substation have improved network resilience and security of supply for the 3,891 customers living in the area.

This was clearly the case when the Far North power supply was taken out last week when the Transpower transmission line was vandalised.

“Demand on the Taipa generators was pretty high and we asked the community to monitor their usage, but we were able to maintain supply while repairs were made to the transmission network.”

Mr Shaw says that since the generators were installed the number and duration of power outages has decreased while essential work on the 33kV overhead line between Kaitaia and Taipa is undertaken.

The generators also addressed a vulnerability in the Taipa power supply which is supplied by a single 33kV overhead line.

“If the line is damaged, the community could be exposed to prolonged outages as the location of the line is difficult to access and repair.”

“The addition of back-up generators means that if the line drops out, the generators will kick in, thereby significantly reducing the outage length while the line fault is located and repaired.”

Mr Shaw says the value of adding generators to the electricity network is that they provide a cost-effective back up system during emergencies and can help manage peak loads on the network, or at times when there is insufficient generation.

“We intend to install more diesel generators on other parts of the network to help improve reliability and resilience. It also means we can defer costly investment without compromising supply, while we investigate other network options and configurations such as batteries, bio-diesel and solar.”

Since the generators were installed, reliability at Taipa has improved significantly.

The generators have been used 21 times in fault situations on the incoming 33kV supply and during planned outages, allowing crews to work safely on a de-energised overhead line while power supply is maintained through the generators.

“We are committed to providing a reliable, cost effective electricity network for our Far North consumers,” Mr Shaw says


For more information please contact:

Philippa White 021-2418740