Power cri­sis

Central Leader - - Letters -

With the end­ing of the power sav­ing cam­paign and the in­crease in the south­ern lake lev­els, the coun­try is mov­ing away from a pos­si­ble power cri­sis.

How­ever, the sit­u­a­tion and im­prove­ment has come about, luck­ily for Merid­ian En­ergy, by good luck with rain re­cently fall­ing in the catch­ment ar­eas of the Waitaki lakes rather than pru­dent man­age­ment.

The Waitaki lakes and river is a vi­tal source of the coun­try’s elec­tric­ity sup­ply and one must re­mem­ber that Ben­more hy­dro­sta­tion sup­plies power to the lower half of the North Is­land through the Cook Strait ca­bles.

The fact the coun­try has had to have a power sav­ing cam­paign has helped to save the ba­con of Merid­ian En­ergy, the Elec­tric­ity Com­mis­sion and an em­bar­rass­ment for the gov­ern­ment.

Be­cause Merid­ian En­ergy is owned by the gov­ern­ment it can­not es­cape cas­ti­ga­tion for al­low­ing Merid­ian En­ergy to drain lakes Tekapo and Pukaki to dan­ger­ously low lev­els and se­ri­ously threaten the gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity of all the sta­tions on the Waitaki as a re­sult. To rely on wa­ter from Lake Ohau only and the Ahuriri River would be un­think­able for the Waitaki, a man-made dis­as­ter!

Fi­nally, to al­le­vi­ate a re­peat of this year’s close call of a power cri­sis, the Labour gov­ern­ment needs to look at its in­ac­tion to­wards more hy­dro power gen­er­a­tion in its time in of­fice. ALAN SIM Mt Roskill

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