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Auckland Power Supply Risks Under Control

Minister of Energy Pete Hodgson said today the risks that had threatened Auckland’s power supply over the summer have been managed successfully.

"With the recommissioning of Contact Energy's Otahuhu B power station and other steps taken by the electricity industry to manage the potential difficulties, Transpower has advised it is again able to supply the Auckland area well within standard security limits," Mr Hodgson said.

The risks to supply were due to a combination of factors including the temporary unavailability of Otahuhu B and restrictions on Huntly’s output due to resource consent issues. Other generation plant in the North Island was due to shut down for maintenance. These developments, together with an increase in demand which now looks to be in the range of 3 to 5 per cent, left the Auckland supply situation finely balanced.

Mr Hodgson called key industry executives together last September after Transpower flagged the possibility of supply difficulties in Auckland at peak load times over summer. An industry working group was set up to manage the risks.

"I have been most impressed by the contributions of all participants in the industry in finding ways to handle the situation," Mr Hodgson said. "The Auckland experience supports the view that the industry self-governance arrangements proposed in the Government’s "Power Package" electricity industry policy can produce good results."

"I would particularly like to acknowledge the contribution of Transpower. Not only did Transpower first draw the risk to my attention, they also lead the co-operative process that ensured that the risks were well managed."

The reports of the working group can be found on www.transpower.co.nz

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