Planning for the future

The world is changing, and here at Eastland Network we’re getting ready to change with it. We have to be ready for future increases in the demand for electricity, and how and when people across Tairāwhiti will be using their power.

In other words, “the electrification of everything”.

So we’re preparing for the rapidly increasing pace of energy transformation. This is coming as a result of the improving economics of new technology and in response to climate change.

It will involve growth in the installation of small-scale distributed generation like solar PV and batteries, and an increasing uptake of electric vehicles across the network.

We predict our region will be slower than the rest of the country in terms of EV uptake because of our demographics and geography, but we must be ready. At peak times we are already close to capacity, so we’re considering a future scenario where every second household comes home and wants to plug in their cars at the same time.

We’re already starting to see what used to be our peak demand over winter now happening during summer too. This is being caused by the increase in heat pumps and people using them to warm their houses during winter and cool them on hot summer nights.

We have to make sure our assets are ready for these increases in demand.

We’re also getting prepared for large scale industrial load growth to ensure it can support regional economic development.

In order to meet the region’s baseline load growth, we’re working on three incremental projects which are detailed in our asset management plan.

    

Increasing MW capacity to 57.5MW by the end of the 2025 financial year, by installing four 6MVAr 50kV capacitor banks.

 

 

         

A thermal upgrade of the Tuai-Gisborne 110kV lines to address the potential issue of overheating as a result of increased demand.

       

Installing two additional 6MVAr 50kV capacitor banks to increase regional electricity capacity to 68MW by the end of the 2034 financial year.

More power to Mahia

With peak demand now above our transformer and line capacity on the Mahia Peninsula, there is a long-time moratorium on new power connections. To address this, we’ve purchased a new transformer and are aiming to have a new substation built and the line upgraded within the next three years.

  

Investing in our assets

As part of our completely redesigned asset management plan, we’re continuing our proactive programme to maintain and upgrade our assets across the region. You can read our asset management plan here.

Exploring new opportunities

Together with Eastland Group, Eastland Generation and local stakeholders, we’re investigating a range of renewable generation opportunities in Tairāwhiti. These include looking at establishing Tairāwhiti’s first 5MW solar plant, at Gisborne Airport.

 

Addressing climate change

See the other steps we’re taking towards a sustainable future, here.