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Solutions to the South Island’s electricity needs

11 November 2005

Seeking solutions to the South Island’s electricity needs

A paper requesting information on possible non-transmission alternatives for meeting the future electricity needs of Christchurch and the upper South Island has been released by Transpower.

The owner and operator of the national electricity grid has identified that by 2012 it is likely that demand for electricity in Christchurch and the upper South Island will exceed the capacity of the power system.

Transpower has discussed the need for investment with the Electricity Commission and electricity industry participants and has now issued a Request for Information (RFI) paper.

The RFI seeks information on potential alternatives to transmission investment in the grid to meet the electricity requirements of Christchurch and upper South Island from 2012. Such alternatives could include new generation proposals or significant demand-side management initiatives.

Chief Executive Dr Ralph Craven says Transpower is very keen to get feedback on potential alternatives to transmission augmentation.

“Transpower is now increasing the capacity of the existing transmission network that supplies Christchurch and the upper South Island region, which should meet the increasing demand for electricity until 2012.

“Beyond that, we have done some initial work on possible transmission solutions, but we want a complete picture of potential generation or demand-side investments in the region before going any further. The RFI sets the scene by illustrating the need, and seeking the views of others on non-transmission alternatives,” Dr Craven said.

Submissions on the RFI are requested by the 16th February 2006. Transpower has already initiated discussions with local government, business, and landowner representatives and wants to encourage community participation and understanding of the process.

“We are encouraging people to ‘think beyond the switch’ and to consider how electricity gets to their homes, businesses and communities. South Islanders need a secure electricity supply because it underpins their quality of life and their economic future,” Dr Craven said.


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