Windfarm transmission agreement signed
Friday 2 July, 2004
Transpower and Meridian Energy sign windfarm transmission agreement
State-owned power companies Meridian Energy and Transpower have reached agreement for the connection of Meridian’s new windfarm at Te Apiti in the Manawatu, to the national grid.
The two companies’ chief executives signed the agreement at a small ceremony in Wellington today.
It is the first ever agreement in New Zealand to connect a wind farm to the national grid. Other existing windfarms are connected to their local line company networks.
It is also the first connection agreement signed between Meridian Energy and Transpower, since the two companies were formed out of the former ECNZ.
Meridian chief executive Keith Turner says the agreement demonstrates the two companies’ willingness to work together bring new electricity generation capacity on stream.
Generating Assets Waitaki River system
The Upper Waitaki system begins at Lake Tekapo, a storage lake with about 800 GWh of storage capacity, which represents about 22 percent of the country’s hydro storage.
Water passes through the Tekapo A power station and is diverted by a purpose-built hydro canal to Tekapo B station on the shores of Lake Pukaki.
Lake Pukaki has some 1600 GWh of storage capacity – about 44 percent of New Zealand’s total. Water is drawn by canal from both Lakes Pukaki and Ohau to supply Ohau A , B and C power stations, before being discharged into Lake Benmore.
After passing through the Benmore power station, the water flows down the Waitaki River through the Aviemore and Waitaki stations.
Manapouri/Te Anau system
The combined storage of Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri is 380 GWh. The Manapouri power station lies 178m underground on the western shore of Lake Manapouri, and is accessed via a 2km road tunnel.
After passing through the station the water flows into Doubtful Sound via two 10km-long tailrace tunnels.
All of the stations are designed to be remote controlled from a control centre at Twizel.
Meridian Energy Australia Ltd owns the Southern Hydro power stations in Victoria.
The ten stations have a total generating capacity of 540MW, with about 940 GWh of output.
The company also owns hydro generation facilities at five small dams in New South Wales and Victoria, generating a total of 62 MW.
Transpower Te Apiti/2
“This agreement represents a considerable step forward in co-operation between our two companies as we each work in our own way to meet New Zealand’s future electricity needs.”
Transpower chief executive Ralph Craven says a strong national grid facilitates the connection of new generation like Te Apiti.
“A key driver for our continued investment in the national grid is to support the connection of a diverse range of energy sources and to allow that energy to get to where it is needed.”
When completed late this year, Te Apiti will be the country’s biggest windfarm.
First power is expected to be generated from the windfarm in about a month, with the full 90 megawatt (MW) capacity expected to be available by the end of the year.