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New Zealand heads towards 90% renewable generation

9 August 2016

New Zealand heads towards 90% renewable generation

Transpower today said that recent levels of renewable generation on the power system has been around 90% – a very positive step towards achieving the Government’s target of 90% renewable generation by 2025. An upward trend in the use of renewable generation had been seen this year largely due to favourable hydrological conditions, recent grid and generation investment and the decommissioning of Southdown and Otahuhu thermal plants at the end of 2015.

Transpower Chief Executive Alison Andrew said that the percentage of renewable generation being used on the power system had been 90% or higher for each month since February this year.

“New Zealand is extremely fortunate to have a large amount of renewable energy at its disposal - both in natural resources as well as in past investments made in large hydro plant, wind and more recent investments in new geothermal plant.”

“These generation investments, coupled with large investments on the transmission system over the last five years, mean that greater volumes of renewable generation is able to be transported to the Upper North Island where demand is the greatest,” she said.

“This year we have seen good hydrology conditions which has meant an abundance of lower cost, hydro generation being transferred from south to north. The hydro lakes are sitting around 140% of average for this time of year.

“The HVDC link (the link that runs under the Cook Strait between the islands) has predominantly been operating in a northwards direction seeing on average around 75 GWH (equivalent to around 350,000 households) per week of hydro generation north.

“There are very few countries that can boast over 90% renewable generation. New Zealand should feel proud that as a country, we can run such a green power system and have a continued commitment to do so,” she said.

Quick facts:

The peak percentage of renewables reached 93% on the week starting 27 June 2016.

The peak percentage of renewables has been 90% or higher for each month since February 2016.

HVDC transfer has been consistently high in 2016. North transfer this year to date (a total of 7 months), is nearly the same as the full 12 months of 2015.


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