Hitachi STATCOM DRP Building

Delivering crucial national infrastructure

  • Location: Hamilton
  • Year: 2023

Technical overview

Connell constructed a 350 sqm building housing the STATCOM and related equipment, with reinforced concrete and pre-cast tilt panels, along with an in-house fabricated Faraday cage for electromagnetic field containment.

Hitachi Energy engaged Connell Contractors to provide civil and structural works for the static synchronous compensator (STATCOM), to be delivered at the Transpower Hamilton substation.

A STATCOM is a fast-acting device that increases power transfer capability, by enhancing voltage stability and maintaining a smooth voltage profile under different network conditions. The 150 Mvar STATCOM will improve voltage management across the Waikato and Upper North Island, where a large amount of generation capacity is being decommissioned.

Since 2012, over 1000 MW of generation capacity has been decommissioned in the Waikato and Upper North Island. Transpower’s Hamilton STATCOM project is critical to improving voltage management and ensuring electrical reliability in the regions. The project has been established to prepare for growth in population and electricity demand and to ensure electrical reliability now and into the future.

Connell Contractors was engaged by Hitachi Energy to provide the civil and structural works for the STATCOM.

Core to this project was a 350 square meter building, designed to house the STATCOM and associated control and auxiliary equipment.

The building was comprised of reinforced concrete footings and floors, and 50 pre-cast tilt panels – fabricated and installed by Connell. Connell also fabricated all the structural steelwork in-house in our New Plymouth workshop.

A unique aspect of the project was the construction of a Faraday cage inside the valve room. A Faraday cage is an enclosure that blocks electromagnetic fields and is formed out of conductive material. The Faraday cage prevents electromagnetic fields from leaving the valve room.

Working closely with Hitachi, our team navigated complex challenges and timeframes to deliver this complex project on time, and to a high standard – despite multiple supply chain issues and constraints.

With our expertise and industry-leading experience, Hitachi was able to commence and deliver this crucial part of national infrastructure on time.

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