Aurora Energy seeks non-network alternatives to meet future growth

28 Aug 2019

Aurora Energy is planning for the future by exploring new ways to get electricity to the fastest growing regions across its network.

Aurora Energy General Manager Asset Management and Planning Glenn Coates said Aurora Energy is investigating non-network alternatives to supply power to the Wanaka and Upper Clutha areas, with registrations of interest opening today.

“Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes are two of the fastest growing regions in New Zealand and we need to ensure we are planning for this growth now,” Mr Coates said.

“This is why today, we have announced we are calling for registrations of interest to seek non-network alternatives to increase the supply to the Wanaka and Upper Clutha communities.

“This process is about finding reliable, lower cost alternatives to building new network infrastructure and ensuring the increase to supply can meet not only current demand but future demand as these regions continue to grow.

“The way communities are using technology is constantly changing with an increase in electric vehicles and more and more people generating their own electricity, and we need to ensure our network and operating systems adapt to enable the uptake of future technologies in the background of strong organic growth.

“We are open to any option that may come forward during the open market process and hope that new and emerging technologies play a part in the registrations of interest. 

“By going to open market for a non-network alternative we are hoping we will receive not only the most cost-effective solution but an approach that enables us to progress our operational capability toward real time management of distributed energy resources.” 

Mr Coates said the Upper Clutha Non-Network Alternative ROI was the first of its kind for Aurora Energy.

“Currently around New Zealand you don’t see many electricity distribution companies going out to open market for non-network alternatives and Aurora Energy is pleased to be leading the way in this space,” Mr Coates said.

Registrations of interest will open today, with the preferred option to be selected by October and the non-network support operational by April 2021.

The Register of Interest can be found here