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Mighty River says spill equal to 14% of generation

Thursday 28th April 2011

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Major water spills from a full Lake Taupo in the three months to March 31 could not used by Mighty River Power Ltd's downstream turbines, resulting in lost generation equal to 14% of the company's hydro electricity output for the period.

The state-owned company operates nine power stations along the Waikato River.

High rainfall and flood events caused Lake Taupo to peak at 5cm over the upper operating level.

"These events resulted in the Taupo gates operating at maximum for an extended period to maximise water outflow from Lake Taupo," Mighty River Power said.

Not all of the water could be used at the downstream hydro stations, resulting in spill equal to 14% of hydro generation for the quarter.

Mighty River Power's electricity generation volumes in the three months to March 31, were up 6.3% on the same period in 2010. Geothermal accounted for 35% of production and hydro 63%.

Production from the new Nga Awa Purua plant drove geothermal volumes up 48% which, coupled with strong hydrology, contributed to reducing gas co-generation to just 2% of the total volume.

Wholesale market pricing information for the quarter will be released by the company once the Electricity Authority has announced its decision on the undesirable trading situation claimed for events on March 26 when wholesale prices spiked. A decision by the authority is expected in early May.

The business community has expressed outrage at a massive spike in wholesale electricity prices on March 26.



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