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NZCID applauds generation capacity upgrade

media release
14 July 2006

NZCID applauds generation capacity upgrade

NZCID Analysis: Distributing New Generation Capacity Closer to Demand Essential

NZ Council for Infrastructure Chief Executive Stephen Selwood described Mighty River Power’s announcement today that they are commiting to a 45MW capacity upgrade at their Southdown facilty as “good news in an uncertain environment”. Mr Selwood strongly agreed that distributing new generation capacity closer to rapidly growing areas of high demand, like Auckland, is an essential part to solving our energy issues.

“Currently few other proposals are currently committed”, he warned. “We will gain 25MW from Genesis Energy’s planned wind plant at Awhitu; and, if consented,a potential 25MW from Top Energy’s development at Ngawha near Kaikohe. Beyond that Genesis Energy are investigating a 240MW development at Rodney; while Mighty River Power are appealing conditions on their consents for Marsden Power Station to allow a further 300MW of generation. However, neither projects are committed at this time”.

Mr Selwood applauded Mighty River Power’s move to increase Southdown’s capacity as excellent progress but pointed out that the 45MW capacity increase represented about 18 months of growth in demand. “Clearly if the future energy needs of our homes and businesses are to be met we need more commitments like this one, we need more distributed generation in the Auckland region”.

Mr Selwood agreed with Mighty River Power Chief Executive Doug Heffernan that more transmission capacity into and around Auckland is also a key issue which needs to be determined. Electricity supply and transmission is a system and needs to be addressed as such, parts of the whole. If we are to reasonably meet our future energy demands in a sustainable way we must look at and develop both.

ENDS

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