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New Zealand power prices plunge with record rainfall

New Zealand’s wholesale electricity prices fell to their lowest levels in July, as rain filled hydro dams to near record levels.

Electricity prices dropped to about US$13 per MWh from as much as US$23 in late June. About two-thirds of New Zealand’s electricity comes from hydro generation.

After the recent rains hydro storage stood at 3503GWh of generation — 38% more than the average for this time of year. Inflows were also 14% higher than average.

In 1998, the wettest year since the wholesale market began operating, lake storage peaked at the equivalent of just over 4000GWH of electricity — more than 70% ahead of the average. This was also accompanied by a collapse in power prices.