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Rainfall provides respite in May

Rainfall provides respite in May

Average wholesale electricity prices fell considerably during May as a result of an improving hydrological situation, the Target 10% savings campaign and the return to service of a key thermal power station (the Taranaki Combined Cycle thermal power station resumed generation on 17 May).

The average half-hour wholesale electricity price for the South Island reference point, Benmore, decreased significantly to 12.64 c/kWh in May, down from 19.91 c/kWh the previous month. Haywards, the North Island reference point, recorded 12.76 c/kWh, a decrease from 20.41 c/kWh in April. Otahuhu, an indicator of upper North Island prices, also decreased considerably, reducing to 12.25 c/kWh from 20.22 c/kWh in April.

Average daily power consumption was 95,480 megawatts during May, which was 6% lower than demand levels in May 2002. The Target 10% savings campaign, introduced by the Winter Power Taskforce, and unseasonably mild temperatures have helped keep demand levels low. The May national average temperature of 11.6°C was 1.1°C above normal, the warmest since May 2000 (source: NIWA).

Inflows into the major hydro catchment areas in May were well above average, with total inflows at 115% of the average. Total New Zealand storage also improved, from 61% of average on 1 May to 80% on 31 May.

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