Innovation projects

Innovation is needed to adapt to the changing landscape of the electricity sector and take advantage of exciting opportunities that improve outcomes for consumers.

Below are examples of innovation projects that Orion is involved in.

Our Innovation Strategy (link) contains some innovation project case studies and list of innovation projects at various stages.

 Get in touch to find out about collaborating with us, or to learn about how Orion is innovating.


Advanced drone technology

Orion has explored how advanced technology and drones can expedite the detection and diagnosis of faults during power outages. By using thermal imaging and live streaming capabilities, faults can now be identified significantly faster, reducing outage durations, and improving operational safety.  

Orion has collaborated with other distribution networks to share and scale the benefits of this technology across the industry.

Automatic power restoration

To restore power to our communities quickly following a fault, an Automatic Power Restoration System (APRS) is being explored and developed. The APRS leverages the power of remote switches with a restoration algorithm that significantly reduces outage times.

As the first EDB in the country to test this technology, our objective is to move from testing the system to full control.


EEA FlexTalk

FlexTalk, led by the EEA, is a collaborative industry initiative to evaluate the processes that need to be in place to apply the OpenADR communication protocol to achieve active managed charging of EVs, enabling flexibility in New Zealand.

Orion is a funding and delivery partner and has been part of the Project Design Team from the early stage.


Home Energy Living Lab

Orion is developing a Home Energy Living Lab to better understand the implications of changing household energy profiles and knowledge needs of our residential customers, and trial products or services that support the low-carbon energy transition. As we gather insights and learnings, we are exploring expanding the project in collaboration with partners.



Orion initiated the concept for Resi-Flex which aims to encourage flexibility from residential consumers by exploring commercial mechanisms in collaboration with flexibility suppliers. Building on relationships forged through the FlexForum, Orion partnered with Wellington Electricity to plan and deliver the project. The goal is to produce a simple and attractive customer proposition for households that rewards customers for shifting their electricity use to off peak periods.