Hydro Intake Clean-up

Earlier in the year we installed a new tool shed at the intake and took the opportunity to remove the old shed, an obsolete compressor building and other surplus materials from the site.

Hydro Generation

The main (Chinese) hydro generator is performing well following significant expenditure over the past two years repairing the penstock leaks between the intake and the stilling tank and replacing the main actuator shaft. We have also completed refurbishment of some parts of the Gilks hydro (the original Hotel unit) as this is still a good reliable backup for the main unit.

During August we experienced a period of very low flows in the Bowen River, where the hydro intake is situated. The low flows had the effect of restricting peak generation and we had to implement load shedding in order to prevent disruption to supply. In the past we have experienced similar low flows but normally around March – April.

Diesel Generation

A new Cummins 480KW diesel genset has been purchased to improve the reliability of the electricity supply at Milford. The main GM standby genset is in need of major refurbishment work and will be used sparingly over the next few months until the new unit can be installed in the Diesel Powerhouse. Recently the GM genset experienced a prolonged outage when a cooling line burst at the same time that our maintenance staff were cleaning debris out of the hydro intake. MSI sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused to several of our customers.

Once installed the new generator will be able to be synchronised with the hydro generation and thus we will have approximately 900KW of capacity available which will be more than enough to cope with peak power requirements for the foreseeable future. The two small obsolete Lister gensets that were housed in the Diesel Powerhouse have been disposed of to make room for the new unit.

New Main Village Switchboard

MSI is planning to install a new main switchboard to replace the main village board in the Diesel Powerhouse.

This work will be scheduled to minimize disruption to electricity supply and will be completed over one day during November. We will advise all customers when this will occur in good time and what the duration of the disruption will be and what arrangements we will have in place to mitigate any adverse affects. This is a “1 in 50” year event and so we trust customers will be understanding of any inconvenience.

Load Growth

This winter we have experienced some very high electricity peak loads and the recently installed load monitoring system is proving valuable in understanding the load patterns. Some peaks have reached 480KW.

Load Control

The generation automated load control scheme has recently been commissioned and is working very well. This system measures load and available water and dumps discretionary heating load to prevent hydro outages occurring. When an outage occurs due to lack of water, the diesel genset automatically starts but there is a break in supply. Residents should have noted that over the past 3 months that the power system has been more reliable as a result of this scheme.

Over the past 4 weeks water flows at the Bowen River intake have been very low and the load control scheme has managed the low water situation with minimum of human intervention.

Water Supply

The main supply pipe to the water storage tanks has recently been replaced with a new high pressure main from the Mitre Peak Lodge valve pit. The standby water supply pool was also recently cleaned out. MSI has two emergency water pumps that can transfer a limited amount of water to the storage tanks in the event of a major hydro penstock failure from this pool.

Cleddau Residential Area Development

As most of you will know DoC have put all plans for this development on hold pending the reinforcement of the Cleddau River stop bank. This follows the Opus report on the risks of flood damage.

It is understood that the SDC will not issue any new building consents until after this work is completed. This situation has necessarily put on hold some of MSI’s planned improvements for the area.

LPG Facility

The LPG tank facility has been placed on hold due to the delays to the new Cleddau residential development area but we are intending to install a 225kg bottle farm facility as an interim measure.

Customers on the LPG pipe route will be contacted to assess whether they wish to connect. The economics are likely to work well for customers that use electricity as their primary source of heating. It is hoped that the facility will be operating first quarter 2008.

Milford Sound Lodge Utilities Trench

Many of you will have noted the construction activity to install power, water, waste-water, gas and telecommunications to the Lodge from the Cleddau Residential Area. This work is nearing completion and the Lodge should be connected to the Milford Village power and MDA waste water systems this month.

MSI apologises for any inconvenience caused to users of the Deep Water Basin and Cleddau Residential Area Roads whilst this work was being carried out. We welcome Milford Sound Lodge as a new customer.