Demand response – a challenge in New Zealand


Interview with Quintin Tahau, Demand Response Manager, Transpower New Zealand

What are the main/current challenges in the industry?
From a demand response perspective, the main challenges relate to understanding how the various markets will interact. Based on international experience, we have a lot to learn as an industry in New Zealand.

What’s your vision for the industry looking forward?
My vision for the New Zealand industry is to have demand response working as a living and breathing part of our ecosystem. To accomplish this we must work collaboratively to encourage growth in demand side management by creating market structures and technical frameworks that promote innovative thinking and product/service development.

What is on the company’s calendar this year?

Transpower has an ambitious program of work this year (and the next) in the demand response space. We have implemented phase one of our demand response management system and are currently working through the beta test phase of the project. Hot on the heels of the beta test is a planned demand response market pilot.

What are the projects you are most proud of so far?
Our current demand response initiative is proving successful. One of the more satisfying aspects of this project is that the New Zealand industry appears to support Transpower’s direction we are taking and as a result we’re having positive discussions around how we make demand response work.
What have been the challenges?
The challenges are far and wide when demand response in New Zealand is concerned. Technical challenges can generally be resolved by the clever engineers in our industry. However, one of the earlier challenges to overcome was getting over the longtime discussion around customer/load ownership. It is an important discussion but the conversations have generally been in one direction. Getting everyone heading in the same direction is always going to be a major challenge.

What makes your company stand out?
As an organization and as individuals we are pushed to deliver quality solutions. This challenge is made by Patrick Strange, our CEO, who strives to get the very best out of us. Collectively and individually we are responsible for delivering to ambitious targets and we are provided the opportunity and support to achieve this.

What will be your message at the upcoming event?
Watch this space next year.

Quintin Tahau will review Transpower’s demand response activities at Smart Utilities Australia & New Zealand 2012 from November 20-22 in Melbourne, Australia.