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Keeping a town's lights on

Client: MainPower Ltd

Location: New Zealand

Sectors: Utilities

The Challenge

Trusty power to keep town lights on

Hanmer Springs is an idyllic town located in the south of New Zealand. With a population of just under 1000 people and a thriving town centre, this pocket of paradise on the southern island of the country is a great place for tourists as well as for those who live there.

But just like every town across the world, power kept everyday life ticking over. Without it the local school, vital medical services and people’s homes would be shrouded in darkness. No lights, no refrigeration for basic food requirements, no heating.

And with the local power network requiring a replacement of HV poles that serviced the town, citizens faced the very real possibility of zero power.

Project fact file

Continuous Power 72hours
Gensets Peovided 3 x Sites
Total Power 8MW

The Solution

Experienced planning and modular power across three sites

Aggreko were contacted and together with MainPower the major hurdles of the project were outlined. Firstly, the amount of power needed to include contingencies so even with severe ramping, the town would have power. Then there was the sheer scale of ground to cover.

Our experts used both 1500 kVA and 1250 kVA generators – totalling 8 MW – which would allow normal life in the town to continue while the vital maintenance took place. Connecting them all would be more than 2.5km of cabling and HV stepup transformers that bridged to the local power network at 11 kV. And there were ample fuel cells in place so supply never ran dry.

The Impact

Schools, homes and businesses keep their lights on

For 72 continuous hours, our equipment – allied with our technicians on site at all times – provided the power that the Hanmer Springs people needed. The fact we work in partnership with our customer to devise a plan that took into account all circumstances and potential pitfalls meant that the town was well prepared for any eventuality.

The most important factor of all? Every man, woman and child in Hanmer Springs had the energy they needed to continue their businesses, studies and home life, while the local network completed their work on the HV poles around the town.