The System Operator Role

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There are two key parts to our business, which reflect New Zealand legislative requirements for the power system. As the Grid Owner, we own and operate the National Grid. As the System Operator (SO), 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 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 Grid and SO 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; including the meeting of defined performance objectives.

Short to Medium Term

The Operations Planning 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 SO function in real time is well planned and understood prior to its implementation. A key function is the security planning to ensure the lights stay on, if at all possible.

Medium Term

The SO Power Systems Group Manager is responsible for overall risk management within the operations group. In addition, there is a requirement for monitoring the compliance and performance of the SO to ensure it meets its performance objectives as required by the Electricity Authority.

Long Term

The SO Markets and Business 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 us to deliver the SO 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; and,
  • promoting efficient operation of the New Zealand electricity industry, for example by delivering an efficient and effective SO 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 SO service and improvements to the wholesale market over time.

Relationship charter [ pdf 50.03 KB ]