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Electricity Commission admits error on power risk

Hon Nick Smith MP
National Party Energy Spokesman
6 April 2006

Electricity Commission admits error over power risk

The Electricity Commission has been forced to admit that its risk assessment of a power crisis this winter has been too optimistic, says National Energy spokesman Nick Smith.

“It is hugely significant that yesterday the commission changed the Minzone and Emergency Zone levels by 15 per cent, making it far more likely that New Zealand will face a power crisis this winter.

“This change raises serious questions about the confidence people can have in the Electricity Commission.

“Ministers’ assurances of ‘no rolling blackouts this winter’ have been based on incorrect advice.

“It’s now highly likely that a consumer savings campaign will be required to help avoid blackouts.

“These errors arise from the Electricity Commission over-estimating the generation from the Waitaki catchment and the Huntly power station. Meridian and Genesis have been saying for months that the commission has been wrong, and this change shows their concerns were justified.

“This error exposes just how fragile New Zealand’s electricity supply is going to be this winter. It’s an indictment on Labour’s failure to plan for new electricity infrastructure that we are set to have the third power crisis in just five years,” says Dr Smith.


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