The System Operator Role

There are two key parts to our business, which reflect New Zealand legislation requirements for the power system. As the Grid Owner, we own and operates the National Grid. As the System Operator, we are responsible for managing the real-time power system and operating the wholesale electricity market.

We are regulated by the Electricity Authority in accordance with the Electricity Industry Participation Code (the Code).​

The organisation of Transpower's System Operations group is based on the time-focus of the various tasks needed to be undertaken:

  • Real Time 
  • Short to Medium Term
  • Medium Term 
  • Long Term 

Real Time

The System Operations Manager and the team of system co-ordinators and support staff have the task, in real time, of managing the power system, in accordance with the rules and regulations which define the market structure in New Zealand, and meeting the performance objectives that the system operator is required to achieve.

Short to Medium Term

The Engineering Manager provides support functions for the real time group. This includes all of the necessary investigations and planning to ensure that the ultimate delivery of the system operator function in real time is well planned and understood prior to its real time implementation. A key function is the security planning to ensure the "lights stay on", if at all possible in real time.

Medium Term

The Business Manager is responsible for the overall risk management within the system operator group. In addition, there is a requirement for monitoring the compliance and performance of the System Operator to ensure it meets its performance objectives as required by the Electricity Authority.

Long Term

The Market Manager is required to plan and develop new systems both in terms of IT&T products, and of market and system operations tools. This will allow Transpower to deliver the system operator function to the Electricity Authority and all industry parties more efficiently.

Working with the Electricity Authority

We have a relationship charter with the Electricity Authority that sets joint a objective to deliver long term benefits to New Zealand consumers in the course of operating and developing the broader electricity market by:

  • promoting competition, for example by removing technical barriers to entry and participation in the wholesale market
  • ensuring reliable supply, for example by efficiently balancing risk and costs of risk reduction and by taking advantage of new technologies as they become commercial
  • promoting efficient operation of the New Zealand electricity industry, for example by delivering an efficient and effective system operator service and by developing and implementing improvements in the market.

The charter builds on the well-established relationship and will help ensure that together we effectively deliver on our joint objective across our day-to-day, market design and compliance work. The relationship charter helps both organisations to work effectively and efficiently in developing and delivering the system operator service and improvements to the wholesale market over time.

Relationship charter [ pdf 50.03 KB ]