Relying on Ngawha

Recent media releases are indicating that electricity supply charges are to change to effect a price drop so that South Island consumers will pay less as sources of generation are nearby, and that "outlying areas such as Northland will pay more due to their long distance supply requirement."

My reading indicates the nearby Ngawha geo-thermal station at Kaikohe generates 70 per cent of Northland's electricity, and a resource consent is being processed for the expansion of this plant.

Here's hoping that this consent will be actively processed to allow for a prompt construction of the extension.

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Let's be sure to keep a close watch to make sure that Northland's facility is recognised and our charges are not subject to unwarranted increases.

CLIFF KNIGHT
Cooper's Beach

Top Energy chief executive Russell Shaw responds.

The Electricity Authority yesterday announced the next stage of their proposal for transmission pricing. They proposed an increase from $4.3 million per annum for Far North consumers to $9.5 million from April 1, 2019. The aim of the change is to reduce transmission charges for customers who are close to generation.

Most of the power in the Far North still comes from the Waikato, through Auckland. The growth of generation at Ngawha to 75 megawatts will make us self-sufficient for energy, and will largely eliminate these charges for consumers. However this is not likely to be until 2025/26, as there is a three and a half-year monitoring period between construction of the stations. There are still two further stages of consultation on the proposed changes, and Top Energy will be submitting on behalf of the consumers of the Far North.