New Zealand Power Grid Crippled by Polar Blast

Around 20,000 households in swathes of North Island had power interruptions after power failures that as the electricity demand hit a record high.

On Monday evening, New Zealand’s power generation failed to meet demand, which caused tens of thousands of households to be affected by widespread power outages.

National grid operator Transpower spokeswoman for the organization, Deborah Gray, said that the operator declared a “grid emergency” at 7 p.m. and asked local distribution companies to reduce the load on their networks.

It was the first time in 10 years that such an emergency had happened.

Transpower requested that all of its clients lower their energy consumption. For some, it would have been as simple as turning off the hot water; for others, it would have been as simple as turning off the power.

Meanwhile, WEL Networks, which supplies power to the Waikato, cut power to various regions, including parts of Hamilton, and advised customers to expect rolling disruptions in a post on its Facebook page shortly before 8 p.m.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there may still be a case that this could have been prevented. 

“We need to know as quickly as possible whether that was the case because it means that we can target our solution,” she said.

“What happened was not good enough. Even if it really was a peak on an extremely cold night, it is still not good enough that we were not able to warn our homes,” Ardern added.

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