Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPECentre)

New Zealand's Centre of Excellence for Power Engineering. University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Power Systems Field Trips

The annual North and South Island Field Trips take around 30 students each year to see the inner workings of NZ hydropower stations, wind farms, geothermal and co-generation plants, as well as some key consumers. EPECentre Power Systems Field Trips are continuously rated by students as the best at UC, giving insight and bringing to life learning in true context. Seats on the trips are limited and in high demand. The trips are open to Electrical Engineering students.

South Island: This four day trip departs for Southern Power Stations usually occurring in the UC mid-semester break. We visit stations from Bluff to the Waitaki Valley.

North Island: This four day trip visits Northern Power Stations and Energy providers, usually occurring in the UC mid-semester break. The trip starts in Wellington where we visit wind farms and the northern terminal of the inter-island HVdc link, as well as geothermal stations, and finishes at Huntly to examine a thermal power station.

Coming Up

2018 - South Island

The 2018 South Island Field trip will take place between 17 and 19 April 2018.  Registration will be available shortly, please check back again.

Past Field Trips

2017 - North Island

The 2017 North Island Field trip took place from Tuesday 11 July to Friday 14 July 2017. The students from Engineering Intermediate to Third Pro visited a large number of sites (Mercury Nga Awa Purua Geothermal Station and Whakamaru Hydro Station, WEL networks’ offices, Transpower control room, Huntly and New Zealand Steel Mill). The group was able, thanks to Mercury, to visit and stay at the Turangawaewae Marae, one of the most iconic Marae in New Zealand. Unfortunately, due to weather events, the group was not able to visit Meridian West Wind Farm and Transpower Haywards Susbtation.

Students walking to Mercury Nga Awa Purua
Geothermal Power Station site.
Photo: Isabelle le Quellec



Students listening to WEL Networks control room staff.
Photo: Isabelle le Quellec



Visiting Huntly Thermal Power Station.
Photo: Isabelle le Quellec


2016 - South Island

The 2016 South Island Power Systems Field Trip took place from Tuesday 26 April - Friday 29 April 2016.
Students visited Alpine Energy Timaru, the Tiwai aluminium smelting plant, White Hill wind farm, and the Manapouri and Benmore hydro power stations. Check out the full story in our June newsletter.

Students observing the penstocks at the Benmore hydro power station.
Photo: Byron Engler



A student gets a closer look at a hydro turbine/generator shaft.
Photo: Byron Engler



Looking out over White Hill wind farm.
Photo: Helen Devereux


2015 - North Island

The 2015 North Island Power Systems Field Trip took place from Tuesday 7 July - Friday 10 July 2015. Students visited the West Wind wind farm,
Haywards Switchyard and substation, Nga Tamariki and Whakamaru Power Stations, a Transpower control room, Huntly, South Down and Pulp &
Paper Mill. This trip was highlighted in our December 2015 newsletter.

Kinleith Pulp and Paper Mill, which also hosts a cogeneration plant.
Photo: Angeline Moneda



A group photo at Whakamaru Power Station.
Photo: Angeline Moneda



A student looks at circuit breakers at Huntly power station.
Photo: Matthew Pike