Westpower plays an important role in advocating on behalf of West Coast consumers and in recent years has had a major role in lobbying for the upgrading of transmission capacity into the region.
Transpower is responsible for transmitting electricity into all regions of New Zealand via high voltage power lines (the national grid).
Distribution (or network) companies, such as Westpower, are responsible for the distribution of electricity from Grid Exit Points (GXP's) to homes and businesses.
Westpower and Transpower have been able to work successfully together, to ensure that there is a secure electricity supply into West Coast GXP's which are located at Reefton, Dobson, Greymouth, Atarau, Otira, Kumara and Hokitika.
In 1999 Westpower sold off its electricity generation assets as required by the Electricity Industry Reform Act 1998. After the reforms, Westpower's Board of Directors led the company through a period of consolidation, focussing primarily on operating and maintaining its distribution network which covers 18,017 square kilometres of the West Coast.
The government moves to allow distribution companies to re-enter the generation market in the mid 2000's, saw Westpower move ahead with its planned Amethyst Hydro Scheme. The 7.2 MW run of the river scheme was commissioned in June 2013.
Our distribution network, consisting of over 2000 kms of power lines, covers from Lyell in the North to Paringa in South Westland and supplies more than 13,000 consumers.