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Wholesale electricity prices double in February

7 April 2005

Wholesale electricity prices double in February

An increase in daily demand in February, below average hydro inflows, planned generation plant outages and environmental impact limitations on generation resulted in average wholesale market prices more than doubling over the month.

Average monthly prices at the Haywards, Otahuhu, and Benmore reference nodes in February were all more than double their respective figures for January. The average Haywards prices increased to 7.31c/kWh in February from 3.12c/kWh in January and Otahuhu prices increased to 8.02c/kWh from 3.46c/kWh respectively. The monthly average price at Benmore increased from 2.85c/kWh in January to 6.50c/kWh.

The Taranaki Combined Cycle (TCC) generating plant at Stratford was removed from service for planned maintenance on 03 February 2005. It is scheduled to resume generation in March. Generation at Huntly was restricted at times in February by an environmental resource consent limiting the amount of cooling water that could be released into the Waikato River.

Flows over the HVDC inter-island link were restricted in February, originally to the standing limit of 870MW and then from 17 February to an increased limit of 886MW. During the month these limits were often binding, sometimes resulting in noticeable price separation between the North and south Islands.

Daily demand during February 2005 was at a higher level than that recorded during January 2005 and January 2004. Average daily demand in February 2005 was 100.6GWh compared to 93.9GWh in January and 96.9GWh in February 2005.

Hydro inflows in February were 93% of average for the month and at 28 February total national storage stood at 106% of average for that time of the year. Inflows of over 200% of average were recorded on the 11th and 12th of February. These inflows resulted in national storage rising to 112% of average on 13 February before decreasing throughout the rest of February to the month end figure of 106% of average.

For more information on electricity prices and hydrological conditions, visit:


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