The stringing of six heavy duty conductor wires across the Waikato River yesterday marked a significant milestone in a large-scale project that will see local electricity distribution company, Unison, energise up to 30 new dairy farms in the Taupo region.
Unison is working in partnership with Wairakei Pastoral Limited and Landcorp Farming Limited to build supply for what is set to be one of the largest contiguous dairy units in the southern hemisphere, once complete.
Unison Group Chief Executive, Ken Sutherland, said yesterday’s power line crossing of the Waikato River was a critical part of the overall project.
“Currently our crews are working to construct the electrical network and the new substation which will support the additional load these new farms will create on the network.
“This is a significant customer project for Unison, and we are working alongside the two parties to ensure we deliver a solution that meets their needs and expectations.”
Wairakei Pastoral Limited CEO, Chris Parkinson, said he was pleased with the progress made to date.
“This is a long-term project for us, and we are pleased to have Unison on board and carrying out the vital work required to enable the development, allowing us to focus on the bigger picture.”
Once complete, there will be around about 40,000 cows across 25,700ha of land.
Mr Parkinson said the conversions would bring 300-350 new jobs into the Central Plateau, contributing to the region’s overall economic development.
Landcorp, which will farm the land, as well as Wairakei Pastoral place great emphasis on ensuring the land use change process, is carried out effectively and sustainably from an environmental and social viewpoint.
"Excellence in environmental stewardship drives everything we're doing. The new farms will go beyond simply meeting environmental standards, they'll well and truly exceed them. It's that commitment to best-practice that defines everything we're doing at Wairakei.”
Once the electricity network is complete and the new Te Toke substation has been livened, focus will then move to the next series of farm connections which are planned for roll-out in the coming years.
For more information, contact:
Unison Customer Care Manager