Transpower’s project involving the Paraparaumu substation on Valley Road has taken another visible step forward with the erection of new poles to support the new 220-kV line into the new substation. The work is being undertaken by a mix of crane and, from this week, by helicopter due to the hillside terrain.
Twenty-two poles in total are being installed, including eight ‘pi-pole’ structures (poles which resemble the π symbol) and six monopole structures.
Transpower’s Project Manager Alan Stephenson said that the pi-poles will be visible on the hillside behind the substation, and stand between around 18 and 27 m in height. Below ground, the poles have reinforced concrete foundations to a depth of between 8 and 11 m.
“Some of the pole locations, particularly down the hill to the substation are expected to be a little too steep for a crane, so we are utilizing the largest helicopter available in New Zealand to carry and place sections of the poles for some of these spots. So if you have a view of the hill behind the substation, you may hear and see a large helicopter carrying 4- to 12-m steel pole sections over the next few weeks.”
Importantly for the local community, when completed and connected to the new substation, the small 800 m sections of new line will replace the 23 km of old 110-kV transmission line that stretches all the way from Paraparaumu to Pauatahanui.
The project is on track to have the new substation completed and commissioned in early 2015, with the removal of the old 110-kV line scheduled to begin immediately thereafter. The first tower/pole removals are expected to take place in Transmission Gully to fit in with NZTA’s intended motorway project.