Transpower’s Chief Executive Alison Andrew has today released an independent report into the grid emergency of August 9
when insufficient generation was available to meet demand, leading to some customers being disconnected.
Ms Andrew says the organisation is committed to learning key lessons from the event and putting them into practice.
“New Zealand has not experienced an event like this since 1992 and it is our intention to avoid a repeat,” she says.
“We have contributed to the Electricity Authority’s phase one review and have accepted all recommendations made by the
Authority. Work is already underway on implementation. We are also contributing to the review being led by the Ministry
of Business, Innovation and Employment.”
“In addition, we commissioned our own review to help us understand the event and industry’s response on the night, to
identify where we need to make changes. Our Board and Management accept the findings of that review and are committed to
implementing the necessary changes.”
The review found that the root cause of the event was a shortage of generation due to the combined effect of planned
generation outages, the lack of market pricing signals to incentivise the offer of available slow-start thermal
generation and finally, the unexpected loss of hydro and wind generation at the peak of demand. This happened on the
evening where New Zealand saw its highest electricity demand ever due to cold temperatures across the country.
Transpower’s operational procedures, communication and error in demand allocation, exacerbated the issue resulting in
some additional households losing electricity for a short period of time that evening. The company apologises for the
inconvenience that this error had on electricity consumers.
The report also identified that Transpower’s lack of visibility over the use of controllable load by distribution
networks is a barrier to the effective management of such an event.
“These issues are wider than Transpower in its role as the System Operator and avoiding a repeat of August 9 will
require the commitment of the entire industry,” says Ms Andrew.
”Transpower as System Operator plays a key role in the co-ordination of the electricity market and it is a
responsibility we take very seriously. Looking ahead success will also require active industry involvement in addressing
the issues highlighted.”
“We look forward to working alongside others in the industry to makes the changes required, and demonstrate to all
consumers, our collective commitment to improvement.”
“Consumers can have confidence in their electricity system which is both robust and reliable. Transpower and I am sure
all industry participants are committed to avoiding a repeat of August 9.”
Transpower’s review was completed by Dr Ranil de Silva, Technical Director, PBA Consulting.
A full copy of the report including a timeline of the event, can be found here
on Transpower’s website.
The Transpower Board also commissioned a review into the communications with our stakeholders surrounding the events of
9 August. Management has accepted all of the recommendations. The report is available on our website.