A power fix, which will hopefully reduce unscheduled power cuts in the Whakatipu, should be commissioned by May.
Aurora Energy’s work programming and delivery GM Mark Pratt says the installation of a new 33kV cable will start this week from Malaghans Road, toward the Lower Shotover Bridge, working towards the grid exit point at Frankton.
That’s where Aurora takes power from Transpower’s nationwide grid.
Pratt says the cabling install is due to be finished next month, with commissioning completed before winter.
The unscheduled power cuts came to a head last winter when about 2300 residents were left without power three times in three weeks in June and July, during some of the coldest days of the year.
Following investigations, the Dunedin City Council-owned company made ‘‘operational adjustments’’ aimed at reducing the load on the Queenstown network.
At present, Arrowtown, Coronet Peak, Dalefield, The Remarkables and part of Arthurs Point are fed by two lines sharing the load between them, with limited access to alternative supply if a fault occurs on either one.
Once the new cable’s commissioned, there’ll be increased capacity catering to growth and new development, and greater security of supply, which should see a reduction in unscheduled outages.
The calendar years from 2017 to 2021 showed power cuts in Arrowtown reduced from 67 to 31 — a ‘‘good year’’ is 23.
Last year, Arrowtown had 43.
Meantime, Aurora started work on Thursday to replace five power poles and a cross arm on State Highway 6, between the Roaring Meg power station at Kawarau Gorge and Cromwell — delays of up to 30 minutes are expected.