Transpower releases research on battery storage in New Zealand

07 September 2017

Transpower today released research into how battery storage could provide value for New Zealand’s power system. Batteries provide the greatest potential at residential, commercial and industrial sites although benefits vary depending on where they are located.

The research investigates various applications for battery storage and considers how battery owners could derive revenue from providing the services that are required to operate the electricity system. These applications were applied to case studies which were evaluated for a range of high-level assumptions using a range of industry metrics.

General Manager Grid Development Stephen Jay said that there is real consensus throughout the industry that the future is about to change with the emergence of new technologies and the opportunities those technologies will provide to consumers in controlling their power usage.

“We are preparing for what that future looks like and this battery research is the first of a number of reports we will release looking at technologies that could possibly have an impact on our business.”

”Presently, battery owners are unlikely to be able to unlock the value of their battery until the appropriate market pricing and payment structures are available. We believe that there is real potential and benefits from batteries for New Zealand consumers and we will support industry changes, such as market and pricing reforms, that allow battery owners to maximise their value,” he said.

The research shows grid-connected batteries are not presently economic, but this is expected to change in the future.

“Last year, we released Transmission Tomorrow, a strategic outlook for the electricity industry that sets out our vision for how we can best prepare for unprecedented changes ahead in New Zealand’s energy industry. In that outlook, battery technologies are forecast as a ‘game changer’ in the long term, changing the operation and role of the National Grid, and we still believe this is the case.”

“Battery projects at lower voltage distribution substations and at a consumer level are forecast to be economic in the next few years, due to the declining cost of battery systems. Over time, we believe they will also become economic for the high voltage transmission grid and this will then provide battery resilience across the whole supply chain.”

“We do not plan to carry out large-scale high voltage trials with batteries in the near term, but we will seek opportunities to work with and learn from others in joint projects where appropriate,” he said.


The report, Battery Storage in New Zealand, is available at


For further information, please contact:  

Rebecca Wilson, Corporate Communications Manager, 04 590 6695 or 021 578 608


About Transpower

Transpower provides critical infrastructure, connecting remotely located electricity generation to electricity users across New Zealand and operating the power system in real time, matching supply to demand. We work in sync with generators, distributors, retailers and technology providers to power Kiwi homes and businesses.