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Te Uku Wind Farm 33kV overhead transmission line (OHTL) for Meridian Energy and Wel Networks

Helping to supply clean energy to 30,000 New Zealand homes

Meridian Energy and Wel Networks
Contract Value
Project Duration
Commenced: 2009
Estimated Completion
Te Uku, New Zealand
Project Overview

The Te Uku Wind Farm project, a partnership between Meridian Energy and WEL Networks Ltd, is a 28-turbine wind farm located on 55.8 square kilometres of privately owned sheep and cattle farm in Waikato on the Wharauro Peninsula of New Zealand.

The wind farm can generate up to 64.4 megawatts of renewable energy, which is enough electricity each year to provide power to approximately 30,000 New Zealand homes.

The wind turbines were manufactured at two sites, with the towers built in Korea and turbine parts in Denmark. A 600 tonne crane shipped to New Zealand from Denmark by the KR Wind/NZ Crane GroupAlliance especially for Te Uku was used to construct the turbines.

The UGL Balfour Beatty Joint Venture who are experienced in the design, construction and commissioning of traditional power infrastructure, were employed to link this innovative, new energy wind farm with the national grid.

The Challenge

Work began at the wind farm site in November 2009. The first phase of construction focused on building 26 kilometres of roads, which were required for transporting the turbine components to their sites. The roads took approximately six months to construct and were completed in April 2010.

Once wind turbines were installed, the challenge for Meridian Energy was to find a contractor who could construct transmission lines to connect the wind farm to the WEL Networks’ substation.

The Solution

BBUGL undertook the design and construction of a new 33kV transmission line 17 kilometres in length to connect the wind farm at Te Uku to the WEL Network at the Te Kowhai substation.

BBUGL’s project solution included:

  • Enabling temporary works, where required, to enable construction along the route of the transmission line
  • New single and double circuit 33kV phosphorus conductor on new poles and foundations
  • 11kV under built circuit
  • Installation of an Optical Ground Wire (OPGW)
  • Plan, coordinate and execute the works within the constraints laid down in the WEL Networks compliance register
  • All clearing and restoration of ground to existing surface levels and standards
  • Extension and modification to the perimeter security fence
Key Outcomes and Benefits

In line with the adoption of new energy and new ways of working, involving the local community in the development of the wind farm was a high priority for all stakeholders. Over $30 million was invested in the regional economy by on-site employees. Nearly half of those working on site were from the Waikato region.

The expertise and experience within BBUGL, and the collaborative nature of the partnership with Meridian Energy, resulted in a culture in which innovation can thrive; something vital to the success of this project.

BBUGL lead the way in ensuring a safe working environment for employees, whilst delivering sustainable infrastructure vital to the future prosperity of this part of New Zealand.

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