Nova Energy’s new 100 MW, gas-fired Nova Energy McKee Power Plant in Taranaki was officially opened recently by Prime Minister Rt. Hon John Key. The power plant has a start up time of 15 minutes enabling it to respond quickly to rapid changes in electricity demand, so that if demand is high, electricity can be produced at short notice to meet those peaks.
Designed primarily to operate as a peaker plant, it has the flexibility to operate in either peaking or baseload mode, which makes it a valuable asset within New Zealand’s electricity system.
Nova Energy supplies approximately 60,000 electricity customers and 34,000 natural gas customers in the North Island and has LPG customers nationwide. The company’s electricity generation utilizes a diverse range of renewable hydro and geothermal energy and is said to be the largest generator of electricity in New Zealand from gas-fired co-generation facilities.
Malcolm Whyte, Deputy Chairman of Nova Energy’s parent company, the Todd Corporation, said the decision to build the power plant flowed from confidence in the Todd Energy gas reserves in the nearby Mangahewa field, and the ability to access that gas.