Growing electricity demand in the Wanaka area will be met by
a new substation to be established on an old Queenstown Lakes
District Council-owned stone quarry.
Aurora Energy Ltd has been given approval for an electricity
switching/substation on 5390sq m on the corner of Ballantyne
and Riverside Rds, next to the council's dog pound.
After the proposal was publicly notified in September, six
local submitters raised concerns about the development,
namely its proximity to earthquake fault lines and its
possible adverse effects including noise, electromagnetic
fields, loss of landscape amenity values and contamination of
The Dunedin-based lines company said the substation was
necessary to cope with increased demand in the Upper Clutha,
particularly in Wanaka, and presented its case to independent
commissioner Jane Taylor and Cr Cath Gilmour at a hearing in
Wanaka in December.
Aurora said the site was chosen because it was located at the
crossing point of one of the 66kV lines from Cromwell and the
lines to the Cardrona and Maungawera substations.
It sat in a hollow where the old quarry was and therefore had
a lower visual impact, yet was high enough above the river to
avoid a major flooding risk.
Council planner Ian Greaves recommended the land be
designated as Aurora required, provided the substation did
not create any adverse effects.
In confirming the notice of requirement for the application,
the commissioners made a series of conditions.
These included requiring Aurora to: plant a boundary hedge or
shelter belt along the Ballantyne and Riverbank Rd frontages,
offer to provide the council with plants for a line of
screening vegetation on the site's southwestern terrace,
comply with set noise limits and ensure buildings used
neutral colours and had low reflectivity.