Hydro Lakes Seriously Low

New Zealand’s hydro-electric storage lakes remained at seriously low levels during January 2008.

New Zealand’s hydro lake storage stood at 2612 GWh (GigaWatt hours) at the beginning of January 2008, 89% of the average for the time of year. Despite increasing slightly to 2629 GWh by the month’s end, the increase was lower than normal for January, the level being 83% of average for the time of year.

Storage was consistently below average throughout the month and seriously lower than values recorded last January when storage hovered between 110% and 120% of average. Storage is normally about 3000 GWh during January.

Inflows were below average on 26 days, reflecting the drier conditions. On 15 days, inflows were seriously low, being less than 70% of average.

Demand exceeded last January’s values on 24 days, peaking at 109.8 GWh on the 31st. Peak demand of 106.6 GWh occurred on January 24th last year. The average daily load for January 2008 was 98.6 GWh.

The lack of a seasonal rise during January 2008 means that storage levels ended the month close to those recorded during the crisis year 1992 when a gain during January was still insufficient to stave off blackouts later in the year.

[Compiled from data supplied by M-co.]

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