Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Whirinaki power plant adds to electricity supply


Whirinaki power plant adds to electricity supply security

Energy Minister Pete Hodgson today opens the government’s new 155 megawatt reserve power station at Whirinaki, near Napier.

The new oil-fired plant will help provide increased certainty of electricity supply for New Zealand, Mr Hodgson says.

"This station will run only when the limits of the electricity system are tested by problems like low inflows to the hydro lakes, or perhaps a major generation or transmission breakdown. It is effectively a form of insurance against the risk of power shortages."

Mr Hodgson said that New Zealand needed an electricity system that coped better with extremes, and part of the solution was to have more reserve generation to run in very dry years.

"We’ve been reminded, all too painfully, of how vulnerable New Zealand is to the effect that a very dry period can have on our electricity system. Transmission or plant failures could be equally serious. We need adequate supplies of energy in reserve and the government has charged the Electricity Commission with ensuring that for the future." Construction of the $150 million plant began in October last year, and the three turbines have all been successfully tested in the last three months. Four staff will run the plant, which can also be run remotely from the Otahuhu power station in Auckland. Contact Energy, which owns the Whirinaki site, has built and will run the plant on behalf of the government.

The cost of building and operating Whirinaki will be recovered through a levy on the industry. The construction cost equates to less than $5 a year for the average household.

“Whirinaki can be up and running in seven minutes if needed, and at full capacity could supply up to 3 percent of New Zealand’s average power needs," Mr Hodgson says.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages