Plans for power meeting

Power out . . . Two birds have been identified as the culprits responsible for creating a power outage in Te Anau yesterday.

Following an initial investigation, Aurora Energy’s identified a ‘‘small number of minor equipment defects’’, which it plans to fix soon.

A fortnight ago, about 2300 customers in Arrowtown, Dalefield and Arthurs Point, including Coronet Peak, lost power for the third time in three weeks, a situation NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson labelled ‘‘unacceptable’’.

Following the third power cut, Aurora completed an aerial drone survey of the main power line, from Mountain View Road in Dalefield towards Arrowtown.

A specialised acoustic survey was also done by Northland company NorthPower, to help identify ‘‘difficult-to-diagnose’’ faults.

An Aurora spokesperson tells Mountain Scene following those investigations, the company’s made ‘‘a number of operational adjustments’’, aimed at reducing the load on the Queenstown network, particularly at peak use times.

The detailed acoustic survey of the line identified the ‘‘minor’’ equipment defects.

‘‘We don’t believe these defects contributed to the recent outages, but they do need to be addressed,’’ the spokesperson says.

‘‘We are currently planning the best time to undertake the local repairs.

‘‘Unfortunately, the work will require a short interruption to [power] supply for a small number of customers.

‘‘The work needs to be done, but not urgently, so we plan to wait until after the school holidays to minimise disruption.’’

Aurora will contact affected customers early next week.

Meantime, Arthurs Point resident Melissa Jenner’s petition — ‘Better power to Arthurs Point & Arrowtown’ — on change.org has garnered just over 270 signatures to date.

Jenner, who works from home, hopes the petition will result in a ‘‘better answer’’ from Aurora regarding the cause of the cuts, reasons for the delay in restoring power, and an
answer on when the issue will be fixed, permanently.

She told Scene last week Aurora was planning to meet with members of the community soon.

Scene understands that meeting is tentatively scheduled for late next month.

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