Power & Renewable Energy - Innovative Energies past projects within the power and renewable energy sector. Innovative Energies Contribution: Innovative Energies supplied the battery backup equipment (DC UPS Systems) for the control equipment within the wind flow turbine.
Utilising highly innovative New Zealand developed and manufactured technology, Abbey Systems has come up with a product which can compete internationally. The indication panel reflects the operational status, while multiple stage monitoring is both locally and remotely communicated. By John Polkinghorne, on August 28th, 2013Last Thursday, the MBIE released a report called Energy in New Zealand 2013, which replaces the old Energy Data File series. As Patrick and others have pointed out many times on this blog, New Zealand is damn good at making electricity. Another interesting graph shows electricity prices for residential, commercial, and industrial users over the last 40 years.
I understood that when generated electricity when can’t be ‘stored’ somewhere for use later, like oil or gas can. Electricity supply is an industry with substantial fixed costs, and which generally has economies of scale, barring the odd transmission constraint. GST is important, and unless you allow for that you could say that companies get pretty much everything 15% cheaper than households. So the average price per unit should naturally fall as a customer uses more – as does happen in NZ, and for households as well. Last time I looked at the power bill there was a line charge which has nothing to do with the generating charge. I also don’t think there’s evidence that power generation is a natural monopoly; the current structure has four major generators and a number of smaller ones, and I can’t see any issue with that.
It increases costs unnecessarily by increasing the bureaucracy and most of it is pure duplication.
Hi Lynden, the *marginal* cost you pay for each additional unit is higher if you’re above 8,000 kWh a year, but the *average* cost keeps falling the more you use, because there are fixed costs which are getting spread out over more units.
There are many fixed costs associated with electricity distribution (lines, metering), so the cost to supply 1 high industrial user will be less than many low residential users that use the same amount of electricity. Yes, there are many fixed costs and the way you bring those fixed costs down per individual entity is to spread it across as many such entities as possible which the lines companies do. What you’re doing is confusing price per unit of power generation which comes down as more is generated and the supply of the lines which is fixed and seperate. That would mean Auckland’s new electrified rail system paying a LOT more per unit than residential users.
Finally, geothermal is certainly a growth area, albeit still a small player, but is truly renewable as is hydro. Greenwelly (below) may be right about better wind power performance in some locations, but I’m not so sure of the overall figure.
My understanding is that Huntly is quite expensive to run and Genesis wouldn’t mind closing it if it could. NZ is in a perfect position to store electricity by having the majority of the generation being hydro. We are proud to announce that as of August 2015 we have amalgamated with Sky Solar and all our Solar Power activities will continue under this umbrella.
It's been a fantastic move that brings together the two foremost solar companys in NZ which means better service, a larger national reach and a greater level of technical support and better buying power.
This move also enables the further market development of the PowerBOS (formerly the Feed-in Fighter) so watch this space - exciting things are happening!
NZ solar power systems are our specialty, with system design and implementation experience from tiny to tremendous and with the backing of some of the biggest names in the industry we can offer our customers reliable, long-term solutions followed up with professional and helpful staff.


The head office is based in the Waikato and services the greater Waikato, Auckland, BOP areas however as we are getting a lot of interest further a-field such as Christchurch, Nelson and Cromwell (where we have installed the 2nd largest grid-tie system in NZ) we now have Agents and Installers covering most regions nationwide.
With the increased popularity of solar power there are many companies springing up to take advantage of this market. The blades power the turbines that generate power, with Innovative Energies designing, manufacturing and supplying the power supply systems to not only power the intricate electrical systems used within the turbine, but also the battery backup to ensure continuation of that supply during a loss of mains supply.
Over 70% of the content will be NZ made products, included in this will be the Innovative Energies SR250C No-Break DC charger, used in a parallel redundant configuration with dual back up batteries. However, businesses throughout the industrialised world are implementing policies and principles of sustainability with renewable resources. Without getting too political, you can see why graphs like this cause some people to feel like they’re getting ripped off. Lowering prices on the users who use much more power individually is encouraging them to use more rather than what we actually need – for them to use less of our scarce resources.
Sure, use pricing to encourage time shifting so that the grid doesn’t become over loaded at peak times but that would be the only time you would use differential pricing. So the average price per unit should naturally fall as a customer uses more – as does happen in NZ, and for households as well. We don’t want power to be cheaper as more is used as that encourages use even more and there really are physical limits to how much power we can generate.
High using industrial users will have Time of Use metering and this means that their half hourly prices will change and they will be incentivised to use electricity when it is the cheapest. That said, they’ll probably charge the industrial users more as the gear needed to supply a factory is far heavier than that needed to supply a household. We couldn’t subsidise the increase because that would defeat the point of encouraging them to use less power. However, our share of renewables has been steadily dropping, so we need to either conserve more, or build more hydro, geothermal etc… to keep up with demand. It does get higher as total installed capacity grows of course, provided there is diversity of location. With the way the electricity market is at the moment, Genesis is only able to recoup the true cost of the generation when there is an abnormal market event, like a transmission constraint.
The answer is to arrange a water storage at the outlet as well as the inlet for the system. We offer design support, information and products for property owners, farmers, architects, the electrotechnology and construction trades, government departments and private companies.
Although there is nothing wrong with the entrepreneurial spirit jumping onto the next boom, we are finding that the two main areas of lack with many of these companies are knowledge and, well, knowledge.
A fun and passionate approach that will leave you far more informed and a lot happier about your decision on how you can bring solar power into your life. In the next week or so I’ll look at different bits of the report, starting today with electricity. This is driven by our strong hydro resources, with geothermal playing a part, and wind a fairly recent addition to the mix. The 60 MW of wind generation will probably produce 10-20 MW a year, so essentially most of the new electricity that is produced will be geothermal.
The correct pricing model would be that pricing went up as you used more giving incentive to use less and thus encouragement for them to bring about innovative ways to do the same thing using less power. This, BTW, is one of the reasons why power generation and distribution is a natural monopoly and should be a) a single entity and b) a state monopoly.
That said, the more power we use the less water there is left in the lakes to generate power and then there is an absolute limit to how much can be generated we can generate at any one time which is an absolute limit to how much can be used at any one time. Residential users have a simpler metering and billing setup and removes all of the pricing risk for the user.


Why not use as much as we can to make our lives better by owning computers and enormous televisions, by electrifying trains and running them frequently, and by encouraging industry to do business and employ people? An example of this was in March 2011 when they priced it at $20,000 MWhr when there was a transmission constraint, when normally the prices are about $100 MWhr. Excess electricity generated during off peak is used to pump water from the lower storage back to the upper storage so that at peak times it can generate all over again. Many of the people who come to us are frustrated with the lack of information they are getting but the most concerning thing is to see the lower quality products entering the market. Stemming from our off-grid experience we understand the need to install quality product in line with a quality design, we also know that safety is directly linked to quality and safety must be taken seriously when dealing with Solar Power.
What we actually have is a massive subsidy from the residential sector to the industrial sector. So peak and off-peak usage becomes very relevant to pricing when electricity is bought and sold on an open market. Every half hour the electricity price changes, so the retailer has to take this pricing risk.
The system works where decisions about new generation are primarily dependent on costs versus revenues at the node to which they connect. The key thing to note is that 1) all forms of electricity generators require down time and 2) the costs of any downtime is factored into the investment decisions made by the affected generator. When I worked with MRP years ago they showed me how flexible their Waikato system is, responding directly to Auckland demand, opening the penstocks about half an hour before the evening peak. That’s where you hear stories that power supplies crank up the power being generated during Coronation Street ad breaks or half times during sports matches because suddenly several hundred thousand people suddenly put their kettles on to make tea.
The fact that wind does not generate all the time will factor into the revenue side of this equation, i.e. There are issues around allowable lake levels which limit their ability to really work the storage on that system, however. Changing to a different supplier was investigated, but would only have decreased the bill by two percent. After further research and getting a number of quotes, the economic advantages of installing solar panels proved convincing. Does the carbon tax really and significantly reduce CO² emission, or does it only shift production to countries without any emission control, with our planet being much worse off? We help run the non-profit Maintenance Engineering Society of NZ, we actively support community organisations, and now we run a chunk of our plant on solar energy. When I see our machinery operating and think that the energy required is coming from the sun it really amazes me. We are currently building a new analytical laboratory which will be home to a full-time metallurgist.
And for some years we have been contributing to a titanium powder project, which has the potential of adding considerable value to titanium products made in NZ rather than just export the resources we have here in NZ. There has been a significant financial investment required (about 250,000 NZD), but there is also a measurable return on investment that is well within the life-span of the solar array. A payback period of eight to nine years, and a return on investment of around nine percent is expected. There are a lot of variables still to be measured and there is some risk associated with increasing lines charges, coupled with reduced buy-back rates.



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