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Proposed changes to Transpower operations

Proposed changes to Transpower operations

Auckland City has sent a letter to Transpower NZ outlining suggestions for the security of Auckland’s electricity supply.

The letter is in response to Transpower’s request for Auckland City to comment on the “Supply security and request for information on alternatives” paper published in May 2006 and presented to the Works and Services Committee in June.

Councillor Neil Abel, chairperson of the Works and Services Committee, says the letter recommends six principles to safeguard Auckland’s future electricity supply including the need to undertake a broader analysis of the diversity of supply point options.

“A significant part of Auckland city’s economic and social future is dependent on a first class supply of reticulated energy from existing generating plants and the national transmission system. We ask that Transpower gives due consideration to the principles the council has outlined when addressing any new transmission projects in the Auckland area,” Mr Abel said.

The principles outlined in the letter include:

o a secure, reliable and safe power supply into the Auckland region and to points north
o a supply network into and across the Auckland Isthmus delivered not on a “just in time” basis but ready to accommodate the growth well ahead of schedule
o diversity of major supply (grid exit points)
o all new transmission lines across the Auckland Isthmus to be underground
o existing overhead lines undergrounded over time
o additional generation capability north of Otahuhu.

“Auckland cannot be without power even momentarily. The 12 June outage caused by what independent reports conclude was insufficient maintenance on part of the transmission system is a prime example and warning enough.

“The recent outage, when much of the Auckland Isthmus and points north were without power for a good part of the business day, brought sharply into focus the cost that the community, the region and the national economy bears when such events occur,” said Mr Abel. “That incident and the prolonged outage in 1998 on the Vector system has dented the confidence of the citizens and ratepayers and those who might look at Auckland as a potential area to locate new business enterprises.

“Some of the principles will be expensive to implement, such as the cost of having lines underground as opposed to overhead, but there must be trade offs against future visual impact, operational costs and reliability over an estimated lifetime analysis,” Mr Abel said.


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