Transpower withdraws its power outage warning

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Transpower had warned of an increased risk of power cuts before 8 a.m. Thursday.

Photo: 123rf

The national grid operator has issued the New Zealand-wide emergency warning of a power shortage.

The alert was issued after one of Contact Energy’s gas turbines in Stratford failed to start, Genesis Energy reported an outage at its Huntly plant and winds rose from a forecast 170 megawatts to only 30.

In an update just before 9:30 a.m., he said the network emergency was over and load management could be back to normal.

He said no one was disconnected during the network emergency and the system was working as expected.

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Chief executive Alison Andrew said Transpower had worked with line companies to get through the morning peak and the network emergency was over by 9.30am.

She said Transpower is confident there will be enough capacity to handle peak demand in the evening.

Previously, its network operator had indicated that there was a risk of insufficient generation and reserve offers to meet demand and provide coverage during a major N-1 event.

Transpower asked people to reduce their energy use where possible, by turning off non-essential lights and delaying the charging of mobile devices and laptops.

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It was working with local line companies to manage the controllable load by turning off hot water systems, the spokesperson said.

The Electricity Authority said this morning’s power generation emergency was well handled by Transpower.

The authority’s general manager of legal oversight and compliance, Sarah Gillies, said she was pleased with the way the matter was handled.

“As regulator we obviously work very closely with Transpower and the way they handled the issue this morning was exactly how we needed it, so we are very happy with how it went.”

Contact in the dark

Contact Energy said it did not know why its gas turbine generator in Stratford did not start around 7am today.

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Around the same time, Genesis Energy reported an outage at its Huntly plant and wind speeds dropped.

Contact production manager John Clark said there were two 100 megawatt quick-start peak units in Stratford, but one has been out of service since it broke the last year and a replacement has not yet been sent from Europe.

Clark said Contact did not know why the remaining operational unit had not started.

Contact brought in additional supply from its other power stations.

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