17 December 2021 at 10:00 am
Volunteers and staff gathered last Thursday to celebrate the commissioning of a new generator donated by Orion to keep Akaroa Health Centre residents warm and services operating in the event of a power cut.
Residents and volunteers launched the new 66kVA diesel-powered mobile generator that’s big enough to power three households. Local electricity lines company Orion contributed $25,000 towards the total cost of $31,500 plus GST.
The small industrial-scale generator is a powerful enough to keep the Centre’s heating and essential services running and provide power to enable residents to re-charge their mobile phones.
Local electrician, Tod Armstrong developed the procedures necessary to move the generator to the Health Centre when needed, plugged into the facility and maintain fuel supply.
Paul Deavoll, Orion’s Head of Customer & Communications says the company had been looking for a practical way to support the community in Akaroa.
“At Orion we recognise the importance of helping communities build resilience and we saw supporting a generator for the Health Centre to do that for Akaroa and Banks Peninsula.
“The Health Centre provides a vital service to the community, and this was a very practical way for us to support people in this important part of our region.
“We’re conscious Akaroa was without power for a significant amount of time after the Canterbury earthquakes and this will give people some comfort that an essential service can be maintained.”
Emma Crew, General Manager, Akaroa Health, said, “The generator means we’ll be able to support people’s health needs in a power outage, and keep things running.
The generator has already had its first use when the power went out.
“Within a week of the generator arriving on site we had to put it to use during a particularly intense storm, it was fantastic to be able to work at full capacity with no loss of services.
“It not only allowed us to keep our residents safe and warm, it allowed us to continue to see our patients and ensure that our essential support services like meals on wheels were able to continue.
“In a remote community like ours we need to be as self-resilient as possible and I can’t thank Orion enough for all their support in helping us achieve this.”
“It worked like a charm. We just plugged it in and away it went,” said Emma.
Left to right: Vic Campbell, Health Care Assistant; Pare Te Kai, Receptionist; Pip Joker, Orion; Emma Crew, General Manager Akaroa Health; Pam Richardson, Akaroa Community Health Trust; Paul Deavoll, Orion