Press Release – New Zealand Government
Today’s opening of Contact Energy’s expanded Stratford power station, by Prime Minister John Key, represents a significant addition to the country’s electricity generation capacity, says Acting Minister of Energy and Resources Hekia Parata.Hon Hekia Parata
Acting Minister of Energy and Resources
31 May 2011
Government Welcomes Contact Energy Projects
Today’s official opening of Contact Energy’s expanded Stratford power station, by Prime Minister John Key, represents a significant addition to the country’s electricity generation capacity, says Acting Minister of Energy and Resources Hekia Parata.
The Prime Minister and Ms Parata were at the opening of the 200MW peaker plant, which will operate as an additional source of electricity when demand is very high or there is not enough wind to power wind farms or the hydro lakes are low.
The plant uses two General Electric high-efficiency gas turbine peaking units – the first of their type to be installed in Australasia.
“The station is able to reach full capacity from a cold start in ten minutes and once the plant is operational it will be capable of generating enough electricity to power approximately 200,000 homes,’’ Ms Parata says.
“Ensuring continuity and security of electricity supply is crucial for businesses and consumers.’’
The Ahuroa Gas Storage Facility, New Zealand’s first underground gas storage facility, located near the Stratford power station, was also opened by the Prime Minister today.
The facility will allow Contact Energy to store natural gas for use when it is needed most.
“Flexible gas supply is becoming increasingly important as supply from the Maui field declines,’’ Ms Parata says.
“The Ahuroa Gas Storage Facility is an exciting step in electricity generation.’’