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  #2519858 9-Jul-2020 10:11
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MrAmerica: Assuming the excess power can be sent north, it could be a good opportunity to wind down coal and gas generation, although I have no idea about the intricacies of power generation and load demand.

I wonder if the Govt has a plan B?

 

We already sit between 80-90% renewable energy generation most of the time (the overwhelming majority of which is hydro from down South), it's not really feasible to completely remove coal/gas. Renewable sources are mostly at the mercy of predictable, but not entirely controllable or storable energy (wind, sunlight, rainfall etc). Hydro is the best at this, but we can only store so much water or replenish it from rainfall.

 

We still need sources of generation which essentially have a power dial, to go up and down as the system requires. Until we have massive battery farms, or any other way of storing excess energy and releasing on-demand really, it's the best we have.


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  #2519860 9-Jul-2020 10:13
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Dingbatt:

 

The press release is at pains to point out the closure is due to “high energy costs”. The cynic in me says it’s an attempt to force the government into intervening to save jobs.

 

I wonder whether the energy could be used for carbon capture in Bluff if it isn’t cost effective to transmit it north. Or produce hydrogen.

 

 

This seems to be an annual event and moved up a few gears in election year. It seems to be a ransom attempt to gain an advantage that other businesses in NZ cannot get. The government should call their bluff (no pun intended). 





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  #2519865 9-Jul-2020 10:20
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MikeB4:

 

This seems to be an annual event and moved up a few gears in election year. It seems to be a ransom attempt to gain an advantage that other businesses in NZ cannot get. The government should call their bluff (no pun intended). 

 

 

100% agree, timing is very suspicious.


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  #2519867 9-Jul-2020 10:22
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Geektastic: It’s more or less been “closing” every year since I moved to NZ! I suppose eventually that will be true.

 

From NZ's point of view, we want it to be on the verge of closing down, because that means we're getting the maximum price we can for our electricity. But we don't want it to actually shut down. From Rio Tinto's point of view, they need to threaten to close the smelter to get the minimum electricity price.

 

Regarding comments about sending the electricity to the National Grid, my understanding is that the limiting factor is the transmission lines north from the Haywards substation (between Lower Hutt & Upper Hutt) which is the northern end of the HVDC link. So using Manapouri electricity to replace Huntly's gas-fired generation isn't going to happen soon. I think PowerCo? was estimating $600M to get Manapouri's electricity fully on the grid, which I guess includes a link from Manapouri to Benmore (southern end of the HVDC link), upgrading the link itself, and upgrading the grid north of Haywards. I think about $100M of that was to get Manapouri electricity fully onto the South Island grid.

 

Because of that, whilst Meridian's share price will probably fall a bit, I doubt it will have much effect on North Island electricity generators like hydro & wind farms. In the short term, it will only affect electricity sold in the South Island and therefore electricity generators there.

 

 


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  #2519868 9-Jul-2020 10:25
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ShinyChrome:

 

Until we have massive battery farms, or any other way of storing excess energy and releasing on-demand really, it's the best we have.

 

 

We don't need massive battery farms. If every house had a Powerwall 2 or similar, we would have the same thing.

 

 


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  #2519872 9-Jul-2020 10:26
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frankv:

 

Geektastic: It’s more or less been “closing” every year since I moved to NZ! I suppose eventually that will be true.

 

From NZ's point of view, we want it to be on the verge of closing down, because that means we're getting the maximum price we can for our electricity. But we don't want it to actually shut down. From Rio Tinto's point of view, they need to threaten to close the smelter to get the minimum electricity price.

 

Regarding comments about sending the electricity to the National Grid, my understanding is that the limiting factor is the transmission lines north from the Haywards substation (between Lower Hutt & Upper Hutt) which is the northern end of the HVDC link. So using Manapouri electricity to replace Huntly's gas-fired generation isn't going to happen soon. I think PowerCo? was estimating $600M to get Manapouri's electricity fully on the grid, which I guess includes a link from Manapouri to Benmore (southern end of the HVDC link), upgrading the link itself, and upgrading the grid north of Haywards. I think about $100M of that was to get Manapouri electricity fully onto the South Island grid.

 

Because of that, whilst Meridian's share price will probably fall a bit, I doubt it will have much effect on North Island electricity generators like hydro & wind farms. In the short term, it will only affect electricity sold in the South Island and therefore electricity generators there.

 

 

 

 

Use some of the extra billions being spent on military spending and use it to fund the $600 million. Surely it will be needed to meet our growing population and we can finally shutter the fossil fuel stations for good.





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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

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  #2519875 9-Jul-2020 10:28
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From Handle9's comment in the 2019 annual Tiwai Point thread, the 2017 Transpower report estimated $600 mil, which I'd also imagine that probably needs adjustment. They could add 600MW to the national grid, not that it is really needed from the looks of it currently, but they say it's economic though, so for whatever that is worth. The idea using it for another plant use locally is interesting though. 

 

Agreed that it is probably just a political stunt, though.


 
 
 
 


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  #2519877 9-Jul-2020 10:31
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Or don't build about 10km of new road. I guess that's about 600 million nowadays.





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  #2519886 9-Jul-2020 10:47
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MikeB4:

 

This seems to be an annual event and moved up a few gears in election year. It seems to be a ransom attempt to gain an advantage that other businesses in NZ cannot get. The government should call their bluff (no pun intended). 

 

 

It sits in a true blue seat, thus reduced incentive for current Govt to intervene?


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  #2519887 9-Jul-2020 10:48
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I agree with the others that timing is suspicious.

 

Somewhere said "final decision" will early next year by which we might have a change in government...

 

Hopefully there are realistic plans somewhere about expanding the transmission system otherwise its a huge asset effectively wasted.

 

(The recent announcement of chch to asburton 4 lane highway is costed at 1.5 billion for only 60 km doesnt sound like a good return to national benefit in comparison)

 

 

 

I thought this was on the cards anyway as other have said there have been rumours of this for many years and eventually they were going to pull the plug and this is the reason why I didnt take up the shares floats in electricity companies several years ago.

 

Its a tragedy for southland industry and will continue the trend of industry and business being weighted to the northern parts of NZ which wont help Auckland. (where did those 5000 government jobs the then national government was going to move south to chch as part of the chch earthquake recovery...). When the big wellington earthquake happens the move of everything to auckland will be locked in.

 

 

 

Another thought is what this closure and eventual increase in electricity capacity does to electric cars/trains home batteries - probably nothing but something to ponder.


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  #2519890 9-Jul-2020 10:48
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frankv:

 

We don't need massive battery farms. If every house had a Powerwall 2 or similar, we would have the same thing.

 

 

We don't even need that. Our hydro rich energy mix is great for covering short peaks. Investment in this area is like the most cost effective way to deal with peaks. (outside of a few unusual cases where a battery system allows an expensive lines upgrade to be deferred - vector built a battery station in Auckland for this reason.)


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  #2519893 9-Jul-2020 10:53
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dafman:

 

MikeB4:

 

This seems to be an annual event and moved up a few gears in election year. It seems to be a ransom attempt to gain an advantage that other businesses in NZ cannot get. The government should call their bluff (no pun intended). 

 

 

It sits in a true blue seat, thus reduced incentive for current Govt to intervene?

 

 

 

 

Or no votes in that even if they launch a rescue package and the smelter is saved no one will vote for them anyway.

 

The current member of parliament who been in the paper recently, had a 12,000 vote majority




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  #2519896 9-Jul-2020 10:56
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They lost $46M. Power costs have increased 25M over the last 12 years, even if we went back to 2008 prices they are still making a loss. Alu prices wont rise that much. They want a 33% reduction in power prices so about $21M. Still making a loss, let alone more is needed to make a profit.

 

Maybe its time to stop flogging a dead horse


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  #2519902 9-Jul-2020 11:04
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tdgeek:

 

Maybe its time to stop flogging a dead horse

 

 

I vote for using Manapouri for a really fun water-slide. Powered by electromagnetic mass accelerators!


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  #2519912 9-Jul-2020 11:10
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Rio Tinto's result for fiscal 2019 ...

 

Revenue $US43.16 Billion

 

Net Income $US6.9 Billion

 

Assets $US78.8 Billion

 

Net Equity $US40.5 Billion

 

I do not see an urgent need for the NZ tax payer to subsidise these guys anymore. Call their annual poverty plead bluff.





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