New geothermal plant fills gaps for MRP Waikato hydro shortage
The lowest inflows to the Waikato River since MightyRiverPower's establishment in 1999 didn't stop the company achieving higher weighted average prices for its wholesale electricity generation than its competitors in the three months to Sept. 30.
That was despite a continuing decline in total electricity sales, which were down 5 percent on the same period a year earlier, "largely reflecting lower national demand and a drop-off in commercial volumes (down 8 percent)," the company says in its quarterly operational update.
"The weighted average wholesale electricity price achieved for generation was $64.37 per Megawatt hour, similar to the prior comparable period and above the market prices received by our competitors for the period," the company says.
That average price also represented an improvement in the relative wholesale price paid for purchases compared with the wholesale price paid for generation, with the ratio of those two falling from 1.04 in the prior period to 0.97 in the three months just passed.
This reflected less use of thermal generation in favour of buying cheaper wholesale power off the grid, the proportion of MRP's generation from geothermal plant rising to 43 percent of the quarterly total with the commissioning of the 82 Megawatt Ngatamariki geothermal power station. Also influencing the improvement was higher prices for hydro power generated in the Waikato River system, despite lower volumes of hydro power caused by low inflows.
By the end of the quarter, inflows to Lake Taupo had raised it to 100 percent of mean storage.
MRP was trading unchanged at $2.20 this morning.