Minister welcomes Cook Strait cable upgrade

  • Simon Bridges
Energy and Resources

Energy Minister Simon Bridges has welcomed the upgrade of the high-voltage Cook Strait electricity link between the North and South Islands.

The $672 million project, known as Pole 3, allows up to one thousand megawatts to be transmitted between the islands – increasing capacity by about a third. It will replace the 47-year old Pole 1 equipment.

“Pole 3 is a key part of the national electricity transmission grid which will help ensure New Zealand makes the best use of its energy resources throughout the country,” says Mr Bridges.

“For example, Pole 3 will make it easier to get electricity from the existing hydro-generators at the bottom of the South Island to areas of high demand like Auckland.

“This improved capability to transfer power between the islands will have significant benefits for our electricity market, making it more efficient and helping ensure security of supply.”

The completion of Pole 3 is another significant milestone in Transpower’s grid investment programme, which includes the $824 million North Island grid upgrade completed last year, and the $473 million North Auckland and Auckland upgrade project due to be completed later this year.