Northpower returns $170m

Northpower has given back about $170 million to Northpower consumers in Kaipara and Whangarei since 1993.

The consumer-owned company originated as the North Auckland Electric Power Board in 1920, providing electricity to Whangarei and Kaipara districts.

Expansion outside Northland began in earnest in 1999. Over the past few years Northpower has secured contracts with Wellington Electricity, Vector, PowerCo, WEL Networks and The Lines Company. It began competing for contracts in the Pacific as it reached the limit of expansion opportunities in New Zealand, then moved into Australia.

Northpower has also worked for Transpower but this year signed a six-year contract with that company for maintenance of transmission lines north of Auckland. Northpower also does all Transpower's sub-station work in the Bay of Plenty, and has a transmission sub-station maintenance depot in Rotorua.

This year Northpower has been working on two major projects for the Electric Power Corporation on the main Samoan island of Upolu - a 20 megawatt power station and the main sub-station for the island - and is designing and installing a 110v DC system at the Wailoa hydro power station, the main power station for Fiji.

More projects in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa are in the pipeline.

And it is now halfway through the build of the Whangarei ultra-fast broadband fibre network, a four-year project.

- Northern Advocate

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