The Electricity Authority has ordered a review of the 9 August 2021 electricity cuts, which affected over 34,000 customers. The biggest impact was felt by those in the Waikato region with over 17,000 customers being disconnected.

The review has two phases:

(i) phase one has two parts:

  • a review around the system operator’s demand allocation tool – envisaged to be completed by 23 August
  • a review around the system operator’s communications processes and associated protocols – likely to be completed by 30 August

(ii) phase two will be informed by the findings of phase one.

Power cuts in New Zealand are very rare so the blackouts earlier this month have sent jitters around the country.

This comes as some electricity generators are turning to cheap non-renewable energy sources such as coal from overseas due to lower rainfall levels here and the government’s commitment to moving New Zealand to 100 percent renewable electricity supply by 2030, and thus already banning offshore coal, oil and gas exploration and extension permits.

A move to renewable energy sources, climate change and supply chain disruptions in a Covid-19 world will shape our energy conundrum, a topic discussed in last month’s edition of InfraRead.