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Electricity demand growth continues in September

Thursday, 14 October 2004

Electricity demand growth continues in September

This year's trend of strong electricity demand continued in September, following record demand over the cold winter months.

"The weekly demand totals in September were consistently ahead of the same weeks in 2003 and 2002, continuing the strong demand trend of winter", says Meridian Energy spokesman Alan Seay.

The figures for national demand are collated and provided by M-Co, the Marketplace Company.

As over the winter months, this demand continued to be met by strong hydro production as a result of plenty of water in the big hydro lakes. Total electricity demand this year is still running about 5 percent higher than last year.

The total weekly demand in September reduced, as is usual, because of the warmer spring weather, and is well below the record demand recorded during a cold snap at the end of August.

Total hydro storage is now very close to the average for this time of year. Storage levels typically increase over the next few months as a result of seasonal rain and snowmelt.

"Meridian¹s careful management of the big South island hydro storage lakes remains a crucial part of the electricity supply equation," says Alan Seay.

"The recent commissioning of Meridian's Te Apiti windfarm in the Manawatu will provide another very useful tool in this equation," says Alan Seay.

First power from the 55 turbine Te Apiti windfarm was generated in August, with completion of the 90MW windfarm expected by the end of the year.

"Te Apiti is the first windfarm connected to the national grid. This means that when the wind blows, it generates electricity, allowing Meridian to conserve hydro storage."

Meridian is also investigating a proposed 70MW windfarm site near Mossburn, in northern Southland.

ENDS

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