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Council seeks to ensure city’s electricity supply with appeal to Environment Court

13 November 2007

The Christchurch City Council has filed an appeal with the Environment Court about Chapter 3 Air quality of Environment Canterbury’s proposed Natural Resources Regional Plan (NRRP).

The Council claims the proposed Plan’s air quality rules would prohibit the use of backup generators during times of peak electricity demand and lacks some of the latest environmental best practices around odour assessment and management.  The Council seeks relief by deletion or amendment of the proposed Plan’s impractical and unnecessary restrictions.

“One of my priorities is to secure a reliable electricity supply for Christchurch,” Mayor Bob Parker says.  “It makes common sense to give us the flexibility to complement what the national grid can provide when our city’s demand is higher than normal.”

The Council uses its emergency generators to prevent blackouts during emergencies because of extreme weather, natural disasters or civil defence.  It also needs to run its generators on a regular basis as part of equipment maintenance, and the Council has routinely fed the electricity it produces back into the national grid rather than waste it by dissipating it as heat into the atmosphere.

“What we propose would be a better overall outcome for the environment while allowing us to maintain our equipment and alleviate pressure on the electricity network.”

Efforts by Transpower to provide a secure supply that can react to the city’s demand at peak times are ongoing and include various upgrades to both the backbone and regional lines.  The Mayor says, “I have every confidence that Transpower will make quick progress and increase the capacity and supply along the Twizel to Christchurch line.  However, until those projects are complete, the Council has to do what it can so the city’s supply is not at risk.”

PDF version of media release.


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