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Meridian puts energy into solving Trust’s crisis

Media Release
For immediate release: Tuesday 2 December 2003

Meridian puts energy into solving
Trust’s electricity crisis

Meridian Energy is taking a hands-on approach to helping a community trust solve its power supply problems.

The Deep Cove Outdoor Education Trust is a non-profit organisation with a hostel situated on a remote fiord near the outlets for the Manapouri power station.

Because of isolation from the area’s power supplies the Trust generates its own electricity. It runs a small hydro generation plant and when water levels are low it uses a diesel generator.

For the last few winters, the Trust has not had a secure power supply. A shortage of water has made them more reliant on their diesel generator and their diesel bill has been pushed up to $10,000 per annum.

The Trust’s generation equipment was installed in the late 1960s and over time it has become less reliable, which adds to the trust’s power problems.

Meridian Energy provides funding for many community groups in the areas it operates in, however, in this situation the company took a unique approach.

Being equipped with the expertise to help the Trust directly with its dilemma, Meridian Energy donated the time of two of its engineers to look at the situation.

The engineers, Charles Lake and Malcolm Preston, found the existing operations could be improved in a number of ways and for relatively low cost.

There is some way to go before Meridian will know exactly what needs to be done to solve the problem but the company is supplying an Engineering student to complete the work over the next couple of months.

The student, James Rouse, will be based at Deep Cove for some of the time he is studying the situation.

Meridian is confident it will be able to solve the Trust’s supply problems and is also looking at how best to meet the trust’s future electricity needs.

The Trust offers educational experiences to around 30 Southland schools and provides accommodation for students and teachers at its Deep Cove hostel.

[ends]

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