Southland Electricity gains Shotover rights

ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 10:15 22/01/2013

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Electricity Southland has secured exclusive network rights to the new Shotover Country development in Frankton.

The contract will almost double the size and capacity of its network in the Queenstown area.

Shotover Country is a new residential development of 770 lots at Ladies Mile in Frankton.

A new 500-pupil primary school has been confirmed for the site.

Electricity Southland was set up in 1995 and has owned the Lakeland electricity network, providing power to Frankton and the Remarkables Park development, since 2007.

It is jointly owned by Electricity Invercargill and The Power Company, network providers for Invercargill and Southland respectively.

Line company PowerNet manages the networks for all three companies.

PowerNet chief executive Jason Franklin said it was an exciting opportunity that would put Electricity Southland into a strong position for the future.

"It will take some years for the uptake of the residential lots, but obviously with the new primary school it will be an attraction for families . . . we see it as fitting well with out investment in Frankton."

The existing Electricity Southland network will be extended from the Glenda Dr industrial area to Shotover Country in a 22kV cable by the end of June 2013.

A 33kV line will be put in by the end of 2014.

Mr Franklin said the investment in Frankton by EIL and TPC in 2007 - at a cost of $5 million - was paying off.

The economic downturn of 2008 meant growth in the area was limited at first, but the long term was looking good.

The company had never lost faith in its investment, he said.

New development at Remarkables Park, the original customers of the network, was growing the customer base. A new high school was planned, alongside more stores, he said.

The company would continue to watch the Queenstown area closely. "As we saw with the economic downturn, [growth] can come in fits and starts and we need to be mindful of that."

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- The Southland Times

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