Electricity Invercargill Ltd (EIL) has a number of investments in the electricity network sector.
EIL entered into a 50/50 partnership with The Power Company Ltd (TPCL) to form PowerNet Ltd in 1994. Reduced costs through economies of scale and the ability to maximize benefits for consumers were the main drivers for the joint venture.
EIL and TPCL retain ownership of their respective network assets and PowerNet manages these 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 which is prepared by PowerNet and approved by the respective network owners.
EIL and TPCL also formed another joint venture company, Electricity Southland, to take advantage of investment and development opportunities. Electricity Southland owns an embedded network in Frankton and Wanaka in Central Otago. This network is also managed by PowerNet.
Wind and hydro power generation are clean, green renewable energies that fit with EIL’s other strategies, including the transition from fossil fuels to renewables where possible.
In 2015, EIL joined withTPCL and Pioneer Energy Ltd to create the Southern Generation Ltd Partnership (SGLP). The partnership owns two wind farms—Mt Stuart near Lawrence and Flat Hill near Bluff. It also owns the Aniwhenua hydro power station on the Rangitaiki River in the Bay of Plenty. The total value of SGLP assets is $126 million.
This renewable energy is managed by Pioneer Energy Ltd. EIL and TPCL jointly own 50% of SGLP through the joint venture, Roaring Forties Energy Ltd Partnership (RFELP). Pioneer Energy Ltd owns the remaining 50%. The return on investment for RFELP makes this investment by EIL into distributed renewable energy generation a key strategic asset.
In 2018-19, the generation output of the two wind generation sites and Aniwhenua hydro power station was assessed as 200GWh. Mt Stuart contributed 20GWh, Flat Hill 26GWh and Aniwhenua 154GWh. Similar to the 2017-18 year, low winds contributed to this reduced generation output for the Flat Hill and Mt Stuart wind farms. The generation output for Aniwhenua was higher than the budget due to an increased rainfall in the
Bay of Plenty.
Pioneer Energy Ltd is constructing two new hydro power stations, Upper Fraser hydro power station in Central Otago with a capacity of 5MW which was commissioned in mid-2019 and the Matiri hydro power station 15km north of Murchison, with a capacity of 7MW which is due to be commissioned early in 2020.