Emergency Transformer Replacement Calls for a Responsive and Flexible Design Approach

Emergency Transformer Replacement Calls for a Responsive and Flexible Design Approach Emergency Transformer Replacement Calls for a Responsive and Flexible Design Approach

Maintaining security of supply was a top priority when a transformer at Powerco’s Parkville substation required urgent replacement.

When the existing 33/11 kV 5 MVA transformer at the Parkville substation in Eketāhuna failed in September 2020, Edison’s design team were engaged to provide detailed design for its replacement. The project required Edison to respond quickly to an emergency, collaborate closely with stakeholders and adapt the design process to achieve a short transformer replacement programme.

Sourcing a spare transformer from another Powerco site enabled the project to proceed at pace. However, this combined with the project urgency presented unique challenges:

  • Edison’s design engineer needed to complete an onsite assessment to validate the existing as built drawings at short notice.
  • The replacement transformer was larger - 33/11 kV 7.5 MVA – necessitating site modification to accommodate it.
  • Installation needed to commence within two weeks, greatly compressing Edison’s usual design and approval processes without compromising quality.
  • Advance planning was required to ensure parts were available on time - compounded by Covid-19.

Our Solution

The design team delivered design drawings for primary, civil, structural, secondary and SCADA for the transformer replacement within two weeks. Edison achieved this by re-deploying and mobilising specialist design expertise to absorb this unforeseen project at short notice. The project also required significant collaboration and flexibility to the normal design and approval process:

  • Rapid validation of the as built drawings.
  • The team had the expertise to highlight and manage pre-fabrication dependencies up-front.
  • Actively engaged Powerco engineers throughout the design process. This enabled Powerco to feed into the design interations and eliminated surprises or delays at approval stage.
  • The compressed timeframe did not allow for full drawings. Edison’s design engineers provided engineering mark ups and communicated continually with the contractor to meet deadlines.

Key Results

  • Installation of an existing Powerco asset quickly to maintain security of supply
  • Continued SAIDI compliance
  • Compressed timeframes and cost savings
  • Programme savings

Speak to our team about your next project

Richard Kingsford

General Manager Design & Advisory


David Webb

General Manager Project Delivery


Michael Prance

General Manager Project Delivery


Jonathan Buell

Regional Manager


Mark Vincent

Regional Manager


Mark Lewis

Regional Manager


Gerald Dignan

Regional Manager