Supporting Powerco to Increase Electricity Capacity and Secure Supply to South Waikato

Supporting Powerco to Increase Electricity Capacity and Secure Supply to South Waikato Supporting Powerco to Increase Electricity Capacity and Secure Supply to South Waikato

Electricity distribution company Powerco faced a significant challenge in meeting the growing demand for electricity in the South Waikato District while ensuring resilience and reliability of supply. The solution was a $43m investment in a 110 kV South Waikato Grid Connection. Powerco needed a collaborative partner with versatile multi-disciplinary expertise to support them in achieving their ambitious project deadline.

The Solution

The project was complex and required high-voltage line design and construction expertise. Powerco took the strategic decision to engage support from specialist partners - including Edison - to deliver against an ambitious timeline.

Consultation with diverse stakeholders, contractor management, COVID-19 pandemic and, procurement constraints, and adverse weather events were just some of the challenging aspects of the project Edison and the wider project team had to navigate proactively to keep the project on track.

Edison provided targeted expertise to support Powerco throughout the entire project lifecycle. Support ranged from developing line route options to overall project governance, stakeholder and contract management, high voltage expertise, construction project management, and commissioning coordination.

  • Project Steering Committee: As part of the project steering committee, Edison developed the procurement strategy for all services, including design, equipment, and construction procurement. This strategy enabled the early engagement of a construction partner at the SiD stage and proved invaluable. It enabled Powerco to finalise the design, undertake procurement, and establish construction contracts to meet tight project timeframes.
  • Accelerated funding approval: Edison provided conceptual designs and high-level plans to help Powerco present a compelling case for funding approval, enabling them to secure the necessary financial resources promptly.
  • Design management: Efficient management of the three designers responsible for completing various elements of the project's designs to ensure coordination and alignment across all parties.
  • Streamlined landowner liaison and consenting process: Supported Powerco’s landowner and stakeholder engagement to secure the necessary consents and stakeholder approvals.
  • Project procurement: Timely delivery of major equipment was vital. Edison mitigated this risk by starting procurement processes early and working collaboratively with people across the industry.
  • High voltage construction management expertise: Provided high voltage construction project management expertise, and supported the works required at Transpower’s Arapuni substation to facilitate the Grid Exit Point of 110 kV supply to Putāruru and the South Waikato.
  • Technical advisory and issue resolution: The Edison team provided expertise and guidance to assist the main project contractor, Northpower, in swiftly and effectively overcoming technical challenges.
  • Project Commissioning: Our independent Commissioning Engineer ensured key stakeholders were consulted and that new assets were successfully tested, commissioned, and made operational.

Results and Benefits

  • In March 2023, the final commissioning of the 110 kV Arapuni grid connection, transmission line, and the rebuilt Putāruru zone substation was completed.
  • Powerco’s 11,500 customers in South Waikato now benefit from a reliable electricity supply that supports the region's future economic growth.
  • Powerco now have a 110 kV supply to South Waikato that is resilient and allows an alternative point of supply from Transpower’s national grid.
  • The successful delivery of the project is a testament to the collaboration between all parties.
  • The diverse needs and perspectives of the community, landowners and local government were understood and met.

Do you need targeted electrical engineering expertise and support to overcome complex project challenges? Contact us today to discuss how Edison can support your next project.

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