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  Reply # 1301854 11-May-2015 11:34
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MikeB4: If you think it's bad here, the Branches we supported on the west coast South Island had terrible electricity supplies. Our Servers would go down at least weekly if not more especially Westport and Greymouth. I doubt if a day would go by with  me receiving alerts for Server not contactable which invariably would be a power outage. They featured as peaks on each and every monthly report  I sent upstairs.


WestPower (the West Coast lines company) have a distribution area as long as the distance from Auckland to Wellington, but extremely thin with almost no opportunities for parallel distribution lines to provide redundancy. Also somewhat fewer (and poorer) people than Wellington, let alone Auckland, Wellington and all the places in between, to pay for construction and maintenance of such an improved network.
If you run a branch network on the West Coast, one of the costs of continuing to do business there would be providing robust UPS solutions - including gensets.


I'd guess the problems in J'ville are most likely caused by clashing spans on the high-voltage (33KV / 66KV?) reticulation from the Transpower Grid Exit Point to the local distribution substation. Undergrounding 33KV or 66KV is very, very expensive and would be a real challenge in the hilly parts of Wellington where an overhead line can jump a gully that would be an engineering nightmare to route around or through.
And since Wellington Electricity (not "WEL", that's Waikato) is IIRC owned by a Hong Kong Chinese investment company, and are like all lines companies strictly regulated as to the profits they can earn, the chances of them stumping up the cash to underground these lines is probably mathematically indistinguishable from zero.

Move house?

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  Reply # 1301940 11-May-2015 13:34
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Some further context for you.

Brand new suburb out in Porirua. All underground cabling & the same with surrounding suburbs. We would lose power on a regular basis (maybe 3 times a week) during the middle of winter with the slightest Wellingtonesque wind. It was almost always during the evenings, for long periods of time, so the impact was large & regular. 

Wel Networks initially fobbed the whole suburb off by telling callers to call their power company. However we couldn't because they wouldn't deal with the power companies direct and we would get told to call them. They then started blaming council, unplanned demand, usage spikes & the power companies etc. You would ring and they would basically tell you tough, they will get to it when they can. In isolated events you could handle it, same excuses over multiple outages, pitchforks were being sharpened. When power company engineers were showing to do work people were going to talk to them to get the truth about the situation.

Out of all of this the residents association got militant and got the council & MP onboard to kick up a fuss and at one stage we had generators on every other street corner for a period of time as backup. It is all meant to be fixed now which is great but it took a while to solve. No clarification really on what the causes was.

So yeah, press your local representation if things continue.




 

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  Reply # 1301950 11-May-2015 13:48
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Geektastic: 
We have the same issues in Martinborough. I have had more power cuts in the 8 years we have lived here than in the 38 years before emigrating I think!

The longest we had was a few years ago when (unusually) it snowed in the village. That one ran to 19 hours and when I called them to ask why, they told me it was an 'emergency' caused by the snow. We had about 2" of snow that lasted about 3 days....so lord knows what these people would think of running the lines system in Sweden or Canada!


To be fair though, how often does it snow in Martinborough?  The utility suppliers in Sweden or Canada would be quite used to dealing with snow and plenty of it, not so I would suspect for a utility supplier in the Wairarapa. 




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Reply # 1301951 11-May-2015 13:52
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PolicyGuy: 
And since Wellington Electricity (not "WEL", that's Waikato) is IIRC owned by a Hong Kong Chinese investment company, and are like all lines companies strictly regulated as to the profits they can earn, the chances of them stumping up the cash to underground these lines is probably mathematically indistinguishable from zero.

Move house?


One of the "Upsides" of deregulation of the power industry.  




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  Reply # 1302003 11-May-2015 15:05
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Technofreak:
PolicyGuy: 
And since Wellington Electricity (not "WEL", that's Waikato) is IIRC owned by a Hong Kong Chinese investment company, and are like all lines companies strictly regulated as to the profits they can earn, the chances of them stumping up the cash to underground these lines is probably mathematically indistinguishable from zero.


One of the "Upsides" of deregulation of the power industry.  


The power industry was not deregulated, it was "reformed" - thanks Max Bradford.
The lines companies have in fact become extremely highy regulated, so this makes them reluctant to invest in network improvements that don't have a demonstrable payback in line with their permitted ROI.

IMHO, the major problem with the electricty lines companies was a complete failure by the Overseas Investment Commission to prevent the expatriation of lines companies.
Powerco is now owned by (I think) a Canadian pension fund, Wellington Electricity by Chinese interests. In my view it is a scandal the the OIC permitted control of these strategic assets to pass entirely into foreign hands.

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  Reply # 1302007 11-May-2015 15:11
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You are correct re deregulation, privatisation is probably a more correct term.




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  Reply # 1302144 11-May-2015 17:51
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PolicyGuy:  ... The power industry was not deregulated, it was "reformed" - thanks Max Bradford ...


Just like the NZ public health service being "reformed" in the 1990s.  Hospitals were meant to compete with each other.  GOK why.  It was not an improvement. frown




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  Reply # 1311047 25-May-2015 08:11
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It wasn't high winds today, but Johnsonville power is down again, according to MF and a friend of mine. Because of the two reports I've seen it looks like it covers a fairly wide area.

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  Reply # 1311059 25-May-2015 08:39
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Not just J'ville today, Tawa was off about 7:15 and then came back about 7:30, then Tawa & Porirua went off about 7:45 and came back about 8:00.
All the rail signals were off so the train to town was going at walking pace.
Sigh

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  Reply # 1311067 25-May-2015 09:24
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PolicyGuy: Not just J'ville today, Tawa was off about 7:15 and then came back about 7:30, then Tawa & Porirua went off about 7:45 and came back about 8:00.
All the rail signals were off so the train to town was going at walking pace.
Sigh

The Stuff report says:

Transpower said a power outage, shortly after 7am on Monday, initially affected 34,000 homes and was quickly reduced to 19,000. Power was back to all customers by 8.05am.
Affected areas were around Johnsonville,Tawa and Porirua.
It was caused when a maintenance crew removed a transformer at Takapu Rd and for unknown reasons the back-up transformer tripped.
The original transformer was put back in.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/68812844/temperatures-plummet-power-cut-in-wellington

Makes me wonder what would have happened if the orginal had failed and needed the backup so probably good thing they still had original.

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