Transpower reported that power supplies would likely be strained Tuesday evening.


Transpower reported that power supplies would likely be strained Tuesday evening.

Electricity network operator Transpower has called on power companies to make more generation available to reduce the risk that there will not be enough to meet demand between 6 and 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Transpower said that, based on current generator bids, there would be less than 200 megawatts of excess power available to meet any unforeseen circumstances during peak evening demand.

The state-owned company has made similar calls on several days this year amid a general increase in demand for electricity and a lack of investment by power companies in recent years in new generation.

But he has so far avoided power cuts.

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Transpower’s chief operating officer, Stephen Jay, said he does not foresee any impact on the supply of electricity to consumers on Tuesday evening.

“However, with cold weather across the country expected to drive increased electricity demand, we anticipate that residual generation could fall below the buffer that we aim to maintain in the system to maintain stability if a generation additional is not offered,” he said.

“We have convened an industry conference this afternoon and with today’s notice we anticipate this will spur industry to act to resolve the situation.”

Spot market electricity prices soared above 50 cents per kilowatt hour on Monday morning as colder weather set in.

The Large Electricity Users Group issued a statement on Monday reiterating concerns about the performance of the electricity market

He said electricity prices in the wholesale market have averaged $176 per megawatt-hour so far this year, down from $166/MWh in the previous two years.

“To put this into context, the Interim Committee on Climate Change found that a wholesale electricity supplier

price of $115/MWh was unaffordable for our economy to function in the longer term without

significant loss of businesses and jobs,” he said in an update to members.

“The Electricity Authority, even after considering all known factors such as the cost of

production, constraints on gas supply, hydroelectric lake levels and rising carbon costs, cannot explain

nearly $40/MWh on the $166/MWh average prices we have seen over the past two years,” he noted.

MEUG said prices needed to reflect the lower long-term cost of new renewable energy generation and that there needed to be “significant investment in new renewable energy generation”, as well as clarity on the way forward for thermal generation.