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Waipipi Windfarm Substation

Bringing renewable energy to Taranaki

  • Location: Taranaki
  • Year: 2020

Located between Patea and Wavery in South Taranaki, Waipipi Wind Farm consists of 31 wind turbines and produces enough clean energy each year to power around 65,000 homes.

Owned and operated by Mercury Energy, Waipipi Wind Farm saves the emission of roughly 250,000 tonnes of carbon.

In 2020, Connell Contractors was selected by ElectroNet to construct the substation for Waipipi. This included constructing the foundations for the switchroom, transformer, and auxiliary equipment and installing cable trenching and drainage systems.

Connell Regional Manger Fabian Bracken said delivering the project during the height of COVID presented unique challenges for the Connell team.

“New Zealand entered its first lockdown just a few months after we began on-site. Our team responded quickly to the new restrictions to ensure we could continue our work while keeping our people safe,” said Fabian.

The 800ha site is located at the former Waipipi Iron Sands mining site, a coastal site with black sand, shell rock, dunes and high wind exposure.

“Our work was often planned around the wind and the unpredictable South Taranaki weather,” said Fabian.

Despite the challenges, Connell received positive feedback from ElectroNet, particularly for the high levels of health and safety, high environmental standards, and high quality of plant and equipment.

Fabian said the project was an exciting milestone for the region. “Waipipi Windfarm was the first windfarm and first renewable energy project for Taranaki. It was rewarding to know we were helping shape the future of renewable energy in the region,” said Fabian.

 

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