The expansion of the Ngawha geothermal power station is expected to play a key role in Top Energy's future and the Far North community.

The $176 million project will add 28MW of generation capacity at the Ngawha site, more than double its current generating capacity.

Chairman Richard Krogh said strong performance from the Ngawha geothermal power station in the 2017/2018 financial year further underlined the approval by the company's board and shareholders for expansion of the station east of Kaikohe.

Read more: Council gives $5m green light to Ngawha industrial park
Ngāwhā geothermal project steams ahead; drilling starts soon

Advertisement

"Over the long term, we expect the larger Ngawha to reshape the company's revenue and balance sheet and add value to the Far North economy for decades to come."

Commissioning of the station will improve security of the electricity supply and significantly reduce Northland's reliance on the National Grid, which transports power from the south.

It is projected that 90 per cent of the time, excess power from Ngawha will be exported to the National Grid, to be used by consumers south of the Top Energy network.

As well as gaining resource consent approvals in July 2017, the project received major transaction approval from the Top Energy Consumer Trust and the Top Energy Board in November 2017.

Construction got under way in late 2017 and was expected to be completed in 2021.

Top Energy chief executive Russell Shaw said although the 2017/2018 financial year had been challenging, progress had been made on several fronts as well as the Ngawha project.

"Safety at work has been a big focus for us and our industry. We are very pleased to report no lost-time injuries during the 12-month period, a first for Top Energy."

The largest non-line investment for the network, of $10m, was approved to deploy an additional 9MW of diesel generation as an economic alternative to improve security of supply and reliability to consumers in the Kaitaia region.

Advertisement

This will be delivered over the next two years.