Grid Skills training facilities

Grid Skills has three main training facilities at Omaka (Blenheim), Bunnythorpe (Palmerston North) and Western Road (Huntly).

Omaka training facility

Omaka provides a range of transmission structures, including towers and poles at 110 kV and 220 kV. The facility provides a practical environment to carry out transmission lines training. Learners undertake activities as they would in the field, but in a controlled environment under the supervision of one of our experienced instructors.

Omaka is located just outside Blenheim in the Marlborough region at the top of the South Island. The location was selected largely for climatic reasons – it has the highest number of rainless days in New Zealand, which facilitates practical training outdoors.

Bunnythorpe training facility

Bunnythorpe offers a training substation switchyard with a range of equipment that facilitates practical training across a number of competencies on the substation technical training pathway. As with all our training facilities, learners undertake activities as they would in a live situation, under the supervision of an experienced trainer.

The Bunnythorpe Training Facility is located just outside of Palmerston North in the Manawatu region in the North Island. This location was selected as it’s adjacent to the Bunnythorpe substation as well as providing easy access to other substations at Linton and Woodville to widen the training experience.

Western Road training facility

Western Road provides a different range of substation assets from those at Bunnythorpe to cover an extensive range of equipment to facilitate the effective delivery of training across all substation primary assets. A range of secondary assets also facilitates training for Power Technicians.

Western Road is located at Huntly in the Waikato region. The facility was selected as a training site due to its central North Island location and good road network to and from Auckland, and its proximity to Hamilton Airport.

Other sites

In addition to the three dedicated Omaka, Bunnythorpe and Western Road training facilities, Grid Skills offers training at a number of operational substations and other facilities around the country. The majority of training at other sites is for Substation Entry Level 1 and 2 (both the full course and the refresher). Where possible, to assist individuals to attend, training is organised as close as possible to their home base.