10 May 2021

Low hydro lakes point to a developing power crisis

From Nine To Noon, 9:09 am on 10 May 2021
Manapouri Power Station on the western arm of Lake Manapouri in New Zealand

Photo: 123rf

The country's biggest power user Tiwai Point aluminium smelter has agreed to cut its electricity usage as the industry faces a developing power crisis. Below average rainfall is putting pressure on hydro-generation with the country's hydro lakes dropping to 65 percent of normal levels for this time of year.

Tiwai Point had reached an agreement with Meridian Energy on a framework for the smelter to reduce its usage by up to 30.5 megawatts. And there are warnings also for residential users of price rises on the way. Kathryn speaks with Transpower's General Manager of Operations Stephen Jay, Meridian Energy's General Manager of Wholesale Chris Ewers and the chief executive of Genesis Energy, Marc England.