Transpower says power looks tight on Friday, calls for more generation

Weather forecasts prompted Transpower to issue a call for generators ahead of Friday morning's peak.

THINGS

Weather forecasts prompted Transpower to issue a call for generators ahead of Friday morning’s peak.

Transpower called on power companies to ramp up production on Friday after warning it could only have a small buffer to deal with unexpected outages during what could be record peak morning demand.

The state-owned company issued a “customer advisory notice” on Tuesday afternoon to power companies asking them to offer more electricity to the market between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Friday and to ensure that their forecasts for this that they plan to produce during this period are correct.

Chief operating officer Stephen Jay said power demand could hit a new record on Friday morning as the cold snap moved north.

The current forecast was also for little wind Friday morning, he said.

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“To be clear, we don’t expect any impact to power supply on Friday morning,” Jay said.

But he said if electricity demand reached projected levels and wind forecasts were accurate, then without action from the generators there would be a smaller buffer than he aimed to maintain to ensure the stability of the network.

Morning demand typically peaks in winter at around 6,500 MW and Transpower aims to keep at least 200 MW of generation in reserve to deal with unforeseen events, such as power plant outages.

“With the cold spell worsening and moving north across the country to higher population centers, we now expect Friday morning could potentially see a record early morning peak,” Jay said.

“We have also consulted closely with the MetService, which is forecasting very little wind Friday morning, which would mean the amount of power generated from the wind would be much lower than expected.”

Transpower chief operating officer Stephen Jay said he did not foresee any impact on electricity supply and the call for more generation was

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Transpower chief operating officer Stephen Jay said he did not foresee any impact on electricity supply and the call for more generation was “with the system operating as planned”.

Transpower’s notice was “an example of the system working as intended to ensure sufficient generation is offered,” he said.

Jay expected power demand to drop again Friday night and through the weekend “in line with typical demand patterns.”

Transpower’s advisory does not constitute a warning or emergency advisory, which it would only issue closer to the time should supplies remain tight.

Transpower last issued a customer advisory notice in early July as production also appeared to be strained.

In June, he posted a rare emergency notice to the network after a mechanical failure at Contact’s power station in Stratford, a fan failure that cut the power of one of the power station’s turbines in half. Huntly and a sudden drop in wind speed combined to leave output 315 MW lower. provided that.

In both cases, power outages were avoided.

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