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Lighthouse went to plan B


The lighthouse at Cape Palliser. PHOTO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

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Power outages on Wairarapa’s southern coast forced the Cape Palliser lighthouse to resort to a backup generator twice to keep its light shining.

There were three outages in the Ngawi and Cape Palliser area from Friday June 24 to Monday June 27, affecting more than 700 customers.

Leader of Aids and Navigation at Maritime New Zealand Jim Foye said that the lighthouse relied on mains electricity, however a number of failsafe mechanisms were in place.

“The Cape Palliser Lighthouse’s main source of power is from mains electricity.

“If it fails, the lighthouse has a backup generator, which will supply backup power overnight until mains electricity is available.

“There are a number of redundant systems on-site for the main light, should all of these fail there is a shorter range standby light also fitted.

“The back-up generator has been needed twice recently.”

The first outage on Friday affected 181 customers and occurred at 4:44pm after Powerco received a report of a sparking line.

An outage on Sunday affected two customers. The outage occurred at 6:20pm and was caused by a line spanning a gulley falling down.

A field crew was dispatched but a helicopter was needed to restring the line, which could not be completed with fading light.

A spokesperson for Powerco said the largest power cut affected 565 customers on Monday night.

“Customers were able to be progressively restored over the evening through until 8.20pm. However 40 customers remained off overnight.

“A helicopter was used to restring the line the next day and the remaining customers were reconnected at 2.50pm Tuesday afternoon.”

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