TGH introduces Ruakura Energy - powering the Ruakura Superhub

8 July 2024

Tainui Group Holdings has formed a new subsidiary business, Ruakura Energy.

Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) has formed a new subsidiary business, Ruakura Energy, to own and operate a bespoke electricity distribution network, designed to meet the energy needs of the Ruakura Superhub, one of the largest inland port and logistics precincts in Australasia.

The Superhub is adjacent to nearby national electricity assets and is already home to a number of large warehouse and distribution centres with significant energy needs including for temperature controlled, cold-chain operations. This has created the opportunity for TGH to develop its own electricity network.

Energy demand is expected to grow as stage 1 of the Superhub (93ha) is fully developed and tenanted, and during the 20 to 30-year process to develop the full 490ha.

Hinerangi Raumati-Tu'ua, Chair of TGH, said the initiative will ensure an independent and resilient energy supply for Ruakura Superhub.

"The formation of Ruakura Energy aligns strongly with the mana motuhake that we aspire to for our iwi. It is about taking control of our energy destiny as an inter-generational developer. By doing this we are ensuring a successful investment, providing increased resilience for our tenants, and adding value to their business,” says Hinerangi.

Ruakura Energy will connect directly to the nearby Hamilton grid exit point, owned by Transpower, and distribute power via a new Ruakura substation currently under construction. This is connected to an underground network as part of the original civil works around the precinct. The substation is equipped with a backup transformer to   provide network resilience, maintaining a smooth, and uninterrupted operation.

TGH Chief Executive Chris Joblin says Ruakura Energy has the potential to expand its operations in the future.

“Looking forward, Ruakura Energy is not just a utility provider but a critical component of the Superhub's infrastructure, integrating energy solutions that potentially include roof-top and solar array generation for on-site consumption or sale of energy back to the national grid,” Chris says.

Following a competitive process, Ruakura Energy has appointed PowerNet Ltd as the Network Manager to manage the distribution assets, ensuring quality service and operational reliability. PowerNet is New Zealand’s fourth largest electricity management company. It currently manages an asset base and investments in excess of NZ$1 billion and delivers power to over 75,000 customers mainly in the lower and central South Island.

Critical components of the network are currently under construction and Ruakura Energy is expected to commence operations under its own name in late 2024.