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New Southdown power welcome

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

New Southdown power welcome; transmission upgrade still needed

The extra 45MW generation capacity to be built by Mighty River Power at Southdown is most welcome, but can't change the need to upgrade transmission capacity into and around Auckland, according to Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern).

"The new station will help meet peak demand, but won't help getting cheaper power from renewable sources farther south, into Auckland," Mr Thompson said.

"The new Southdown generation capacity is particularly welcome because its supply is right where it is most needed, with most other current and future generation from farther south.

"But the new station is also equivalent to only one year's growth in power demand growth in Auckland.

"The transmission upgrade will be needed especially to access renewable generation supply from such as hydro, wind and geothermal, all of which are from south of Auckland.

"Security of supply and competitive prices depend upon having a reliable, national grid that can transport power at peak times in any direction, and with the capacity to meet ever-increasing loads.

"The sooner the impasse between Transpower and the Electricity Commission is resolved to allow increased investment in capacity into and around Auckland, the sooner that business investors will gain confidence in their ability to get a secure electricity supply."


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