Aniwhenua Hydro Station

The Power Company Ltd (TPCL) and Electricity Invercargill Ltd (EIL) have a number of investments in the electricity network sector. Following is a summary of these investments.

In 1994, TPCL and EIL entered into a 50/50 partnership to form PowerNet Limited. Reduced costs through economies of scale and the ability to maximize benefits for consumers were the main drivers for the joint venture.

TPCL and EIL retain the ownership of their respective network assets and PowerNet manages the assets on their behalf. This management is implemented through agreed capital and maintenance works programmes which constitute the major part of the business plans. Each company has its own business plan prepared by PowerNet and approved by the respective network owners.

TPCL and EIL also formed another joint venture company, Lakeland Network Ltd (formerly Electricity Southland Ltd), to take advantage of investment and development opportunities. Lakeland Network owns a network in the Queenstown-Lakes and two embedded networks in Wanaka and Cromwell  in Central Otago. This network is also managed by PowerNet.

OtagoNet Joint Venture (OJV) is owned wholly by EIL and TPCL.  OJV was formed in 2002 following the purchase of the electricity network assets from the shareholders of the consumer co-operative company Otago Power Ltd.

Developing renewable energy generation is important for the future. In 2015, TPCL joined with EIL and Pioneer Energy Limited to create the Southern Generation Limited Partnership (SGLP).

This renewable energy is managed by TPCL & EIL’s  partner, Pioneer Energy Limited. TPCL and EIL jointly own 50% of SGLP through the joint venture, Roaring Forties Energy Limited Partnership (RFELP). Pioneer Energy Limited owns the remaining 50%.

The return on investment for RFELP makes this investment by TPCL into distributed renewable energy generation a key strategic asset.

In July 2021, the partnership invested $15.5 million in purchasing three small hydro electric assets located across the Central North Island – two in the King Country(at Speedys Road and Mangapehi), and one near Matawai (between Gisborne and Opotiki). The hydro
electric stations combined can generate up to 24 GWh of electricity each year.

In 2021-22 the total generation output of SGLP’s two wind generation sites, together with the six hydro power stations, was 218.2 GWh.

This was made up of:
• Mt Stuart – 17.6 GWh
• Flat Hill – 23.5 GWh
• Aniwhenua – 110.3 GWh
• Upper Fraser – 34.6 GWh
• Matiri – 20.5 GWh

From July 2021, the three new small hydro stations (at Speedys Road, Mangapehi, and Matawai provided generation of 11.7 GWh.