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Nelson Evening Mail TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13. ELECTRICAL POWER.

.VISIT OF THE AMERICAN ' EXPERT, THE visit to the colony of the American electrical expert engaged by the Government to report on the water power of New Zealand streams is of great interest and importance to all, and not the least to the Nelson district. Mr Hancock, the expert in question, arrived by the last San Francisco mail steamer, and he is already at work. His first undertaking is to visit Wairoa Falls, Whangarei, whither he proceeded last week. He was then to go to the Huka Falls and thence to Wellington, and thereafter he will inspect South Island streams, probably coming to Nelson if the request made some time ago to the Government be com plied with. Speaking to an interviewer at Auckland, Mr Hancock said his present intention *is to inspect only about 200 of the principal streams 1 of the colony. He is already impressed with the possibilities of an electrical power scheme for' Auckland,, and he added Ithat if the district were next door to San Francisco instead of where it is, it would be supplied very quickly with power from its water.

I-TqV considers that though Ms company (The California Gas and Electric Company) supplies 13 counties with electrical power, and is one of the largest concerns in its . lino in America, #ts plant would be none too large for New Zealand, • * • * < I Asked whether electric powertraction was supplied successfully to railways, Mr Hancock said : " Oh, yes ; with unquestionable success. There is no difficulty in the transmission of power if you have the proper appliances. For instance, the Huka Falls are about 170 miles from Auckland, and power could readily be transmitted from there to Auckland or intermediate stations, With the same power my company is, and over greater distances, with suitable equipment, supplying several railway systems already in our district. One of them is 140 miles away, but they are all small-distance lines, The question of haulage is simply one of design in the motors employed, and there is no question as to the superiority of the electric railway over the steam road. Wo have found that the electrical railroad open's up country much faster, and. all other things equal, much more cheaply than steam. T have littlo ; doubt that ii the- systems were applied In this country they would be found of vast advantage to all . concerned.'

m » m * In the North Island, among the streams to be reported on by Mr Hancock are the Manawatu and the Rangitikei. In the South Island Christchurch and Dunedin, and of course the mining districts of the West Coast' and Southland, are already announced as being in the itinerary of the expert. It is the intention of the Government to employ a permanent electrical engineer after Mr Hancock's report is received, and to put in hand at least some of the projects Mr IJancock's observations may suggest as most feasible and desirable. Where Nelson comes in as one of the fortunate districte to be reported upon ! by Mr Hancock is not yet apparent, though the city and district need a cheap and effective motive power for industrial purposes more urgently than many other localities. In most of the places at which the expert has i called or is to eail coal fuel is readily i and directly obtainable, even if it be dear. In Nelson the coal qu3stion is ever a serious one to the industrial consumer, for the supply, abundant though it may be, is not direct, or at least the trade is hampered by various conditions all tending to enhance the price. Many industries here would receive a much-needed impetus if only motive power were cheaper, and it has been a matter for regret for years that the vast quantities of running water which are now going to waste have not been utilised long ago for a variety of purposes. Moreover, Nelson is especially adapted to the smaller industries which depend for power on the lesser engines, such as the turning of bicycle parts, ornamental i wood-turning, and numbers of other j callings that might be carried on in the homes of tho people as distinct from factories. • * • • Water power of itself, say for the driving of turbines, if available in abundance and cheaply, would revolutionise many industrial enterprises in the city, while the introduction of electrical plant with power generated by water would place within easy reach many conveniences now deemed benefits to be secured in the distant future. For instance, with electrical power stations it would be^possible to run an efficient line of electric cars, or the more modern motor cars, to serve districts which have not so far even dreamt of .an Qrnnibus plying in their locality. Some such service would not only be a boon to many residents in the outskirts and heights of the city, but it would enable scores of persons to reside in the suburbs, as in' larger towns, going to and fro from their work daily, the residential area of Suburban North and Cable Bay being a case in point. • • .• • -A. -visit from AXr Uaneockj ttierefore, might prove of the utmost value to the city and district, and it is hoped that the Chamber of Commerce, which has moved in the direction of getting the Government to consent to the expert inspecting our streams, will persist in its efforts till the request is granted. It would take a volume to enumerate the various uses to which both hydraulic and electrical motive power could be applied in a place like Nelson, which has two fine streams running through it, and which is surrounded by streams with even greater possibilities than the Maitai and the Brook — the Roding River, for instance. The manufacturing industries of the city and district might be soon increased ten-fold, and the desirable element of home manufacture might be instituted and become as valuable an adjunct to wage-earning as the market gardens and orchards themselves, if only the water-power now going to waste were utilised as it is in other parts of the world, This applies to all parts of the colony, large and small centres ; alike but it applies with almost special force to Nelson, where the question of cheap fuel, or rather of the dearness of fuel, is always insistent. For these and hosts of other reasons that might be adduced the public should never rest till the electrical expert's services are obtained ; and further, till the Government includes among its new power-projects one that will give Nelson some measure of help in availing itself of its abundant and now wasted water.

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Bibliographic details

Nelson Evening Mail TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13. ELECTRICAL POWER., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXVII, Issue 193, 13 October 1903

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1,108

Nelson Evening Mail TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13. ELECTRICAL POWER. Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXVII, Issue 193, 13 October 1903

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