Nine hour power cut warning

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Far North power company Top Energy is warning people in much of its supply area they will soon face nine hours without electricity during essential line maintenance.

Top Energy will cut power to Kaitaia and surrounding areas for most of the day on March 17 to undertake essential maintenance work on the main electricity transmission line into Kaitaia.

The work is part of Top Energy's Far North network investment programme to ensure a more reliable supply of electricity to the region, and can only be done with the power supply out.

"We know this will be inconvenient for people and we apologise sincerely for that," chief executive Russell Shaw said.

"Unfortunately there is no ideal time to switch the power off. But, because this is the only transmission line to supply the Far North, it's important to keep it properly maintained to reduce the chance of unplanned outages."

A nine-hour power outage is planned, starting at 8am. This will impact everywhere north of the Mangamuka Gorge, north of the Hokianga Harbour with the exception of Kohukohu, and all towns and districts as far north as Te Paki, including Kaitaia.

A separate outage lasting about 30 minutes between 5pm and 6pm is planned for the east coast area to enable Top Energy to transfer the electricity supply there from generators back on to the Top Energy network.

The areas affected by this separate outage include the east coast from Taupo Bay up and the whole Karikari Peninsula, and inland including Fairburn, Fern Flat, Oruru, Paranui, Parapara, Pekerau and Peria.

People affected by the nine-hour outage will not be impacted by the 30-minute power cut. And vice versa.

The dependence on a single 110kV transmission line will not last for much longer, Mr Shaw said. Top Energy is building a second line up the east coast.

- Northland Age

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