Spot power prices fall as lakes rise

Last updated 14:43 01/10/2008

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New Zealand wholesale spot power prices fell by more than half in the past week as hydro lakes filled to the brim.

Prices at the North Island reference point of Haywards fell 52 percent to an average $22.81 per megawatt hour (MWh), and at the South Island reference point of Benmore prices were 58 percent lower at an average $20.06 per MWh.

It was the fourth consecutive week that prices had fallen sharply as hydro lakes continue their recovery from 16-year lows touched in May and June, which prompted a national power-saving campaign.

National demand fell 1.1 percent to 102,151 megawatts.

Wholesale market operator M-Co said New Zealand's stored energy over the past seven days rose 16 percentage points to 96 percent of average.

National inflows were 162 percent of average over the week to Tuesday, compared with 118 percent in the previous week.

In the South Island, where virtually all power is produced by hydro power stations, inflows were 199 percent of average compared with 125 percent the previous week.

North Island inflows fell to 83 percent of average from 103 percent.

Around 60 percent of New Zealand's electricity comes from hydro power.

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- NZPA

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