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The Ashburton Electric Power Board (AEPB) started life as as a privately-owned generator based in Ashburton. After the AEPB's establishment in 1923, it grew through a variety of operating voltages which included 230 volts dc, 3.3kV, 6.6kV, 11kV, and latterly, 33kV ac.
During the 1970‘s irrigation demand caused growth to accelerate dramatically, expanding the 33kV sub-transmission network to all corners of the Ashburton District. A small hydro generator, Montalto, was then built during the early 1980‘s.
Electricity Ashburton Limited (as the AEPB became) introduced 22kV and 66kV as voltages on the network. A large capital works programme during the late 1990's and the early part of this century now has the majority of sub-transmission lines operating at 66kV and a significant portion of the distribution network operating at 22kV.
In 2008 Electricity Ashburton began developing a fibre optic network to establish robust communication links between the electricity network zone sub-stations. The EA Networks Board took the decision to expand the capacity of this network to allow residents and businesses on the fibre network route to connect to the network, allowing access to ultra-fast broadband and other services.
In 2012, Electricity Ashburton decided to re-brand and take on the trading name EA Networks, which better reflects the variety of network services the business provided. As a business committed to keeping the lights on and the web connected for consumers throughout Mid Canterbury, EA Networks has continued to deliver world-class, reliable and resilient networks infrastructure to consumers in their homes, businesses and farms.
EA Networks now supplies electricity line services to more than 17,450 consumers using almost 3,000km of underground cables and overhead lines.