Hydro Lakes Remain Seriously Low

New Zealand’s hydro-electric lake levels remained seriously low at the end of March 2008.

Hydro lake storage levels got a temporary boost from good inflows during the first week of March 2008, but the the situation did not last, and the lake levels declined further as the month progressed. At the beginning of March national hydro storage was 2545 GigaWatt hours (GWh) 80% of average for the time of year, and this had declined to 2303 GWh 74% of average by month’s end.

Inflows were below average on 26 days during March, with very high inflows (up to 270% of average) recorded during the first 3 days of the month.

Storage levels remained consistently below average during the month, but improved slightly until the 8th when a declining trend once again set in. Storage was markedly lower than last March when levels hovered between 88% and 96% of average for the time of year.

Energy demand varied considerably from day-to-day and reflected a weekly trend ending on a Wednesday, perhaps due to supply being augmented from other sources. Demand was less than the same day last March on 13 days, averaging 100.6 GWh per day and peaked at 109.3 GWh on March 27th. The peak demand during March 2007 was 109.1 GWh recorded on the 26th.

The Cook Strait cables were steadily transferring power most days, with south-to-north flows exceeding southbound flows on every day of the 30 days reported so far.

Lake levels at the end of summer are lower than at the same time last year, dramatically lower when compared with levels at the end of March 2004, and slightly above those recorded at the end of March in the crisis year 1992.

[Compiled from data supplied by M-co.]

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