Work to install new equipment at Marsden substation off Station Road in Ruakaka is well underway, with works beginning on site earlier this year.
The substation is an important part of New Zealand’s high voltage transmission network, owned and operated by Transpower New Zealand. Marsden substation connects the Bream Bay substation which supplies New Zealand’s only oil refinery as well as homes in and around Bream Bay and Ruakaka. It is also an important link in keeping the lights on for the rest of the Northland region.
Transpower’s work at Marsden will see a new Static Synchronous Compensator (or STATCOM) installed to help support voltage in the region, particularly in the milliseconds after a major disruption on the power system, like an outage or large generator disconnecting.
Project Manager, Acland Abeyesekera says the new STATCOM at Marsden is one of two units being installed as part of the project.
"The other unit is being installed at our Penrose substation in Auckland. This sort of equipment is particularly important in both Auckland and Northland, because these areas are heavily reliant on our transmission network to carry power up from south of Auckland".
The new STATCOM is expected to be fully installed and available for service by late 2013.
While the wider Northland region benefits from having a more secure electricity system, the local community in and around Ruakaka and Bream Bay has an opportunity to benefit more directly through Transpower’s CommunityCare Fund. The Fund assists those communities affected by Transpower assets and projects (like the Marsden STATCOM) by investing in community-based projects that add real value and benefit to the community as a whole.
Funding rounds are undertaken every six months.