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Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)

Amy Ferguson made this Official Information request to Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

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From: Amy Ferguson

Dear Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment,
(ATT: NZ Space Agency)

This year marks a solar centenary. In 1921, three waves of a major geomagnetic event wreaked havoc in different parts of the world. The main effects of an electrical surge cause from a CME would be a major outage on the power grid.

Do we in New Zealand have backup transmitters should such an event occur? How long would these backup transmitters provide power to the country? Are there any specific areas of the country that would not be provided with power from a backup source?

Please provide me with the plans and procedures in place should New Zealand experience a major outage caused from a solar flare

Yours faithfully,

Amy Ferguson

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From: Ministerial Services
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Ref: 2122-0833

 

Dear Amy,

 

On behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment I
acknowledge your email of the 6^th of October 2021 requesting under the
Official Information Act 1982 (the Act), the following:

 

“This year marks a solar centenary. In 1921, three waves of a major
geomagnetic event wreaked havoc in different parts of the world. The main
effects of an electrical surge cause from a CME would be a major outage on
the power grid.

Do we in New Zealand have backup transmitters should such an event occur?
How long would these backup transmitters provide power to the country? Are
there any specific areas of the country that would not be provided with
power from a backup source?

Please provide me with the plans and procedures in place should New
Zealand experience a major outage caused from a solar flare”

 

Your request is being processed in accordance with the Act and a response
will be sent to you in due course.

 

Due to the recent changes in Covid-19 alert levels, the Ministry is
currently focused on assisting with the pandemic response and your
response may be delayed. The Ministry will contact you to provide further
updates specific to your request once it has been assessed.

 

If you have any enquiries regarding your request, or its urgency, feel
free to contact us via email at [1][MBIE request email].

 

Nâku noa, nâ

MINISTERIAL SERVICES

               

Ngâ Pou o te Taumaru

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Level 4, 15 Stout Street, PO Box 1473, Wellington 6140

NZBN 9429000106078

 

 

 

[2]www.govt.nz - your guide to finding and using New Zealand government
services

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References

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1. mailto:[MBIE request email]
2. http://www.govt.nz/

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From: Ministerial Services
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Ref: 2122-0833
 
Dear Amy,
 
On behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment I
acknowledge your email of 6th of October 2021 requesting under the
Official Information Act 1982 (the Act), the following:
 
"This year marks a solar centenary. In 1921, three waves of a major
geomagnetic event wreaked havoc in different parts of the world. The main
effects of an electrical surge cause from a CME would be a major outage on
the power grid.
Do we in New Zealand have backup transmitters should such an event occur?
How long would these backup transmitters provide power to the country? Are
there any specific areas of the country that would not be provided with
power from a backup source?
Please provide me with the plans and procedures in place should New
Zealand experience a major outage caused from a solar flare"
 
This letter is to advise you that your request has been transferred to
Transpower New Zealand Ltd.
 
This is because your request is more closely aligned with the functions of
Transpower New Zealand Ltd. Section 14(b)(ii) of the Official Information
Act allows me to transfer any request that is believed to be more closely
aligned with the functions of another department, organisation or Minister
of the Crown.
 
I trust you find the information helpful.  You have the right to seek an
investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this decision. Information
about how to make a complaint is available at
[1]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or freephone 0800 802 602.
 
Nāku noa, nā
MINISTERIAL SERVICES
 
Nga Pou o te Taumaru
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Level 4, 15 Stout Street, PO Box 1473, Wellington 6140
NZBN 9429000106078
 
 

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From: Charlotte Edwards

Kia ora

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your OIA request, transferred to Transpower by MBIE on 10th October, for information about coronal mass injection. Transpower owns and operates the National Grid – or high voltage transmission network – that carries electricity around the country. This network includes over 12,000 km of transmission lines and 170 substations.

In your request you ask about backup transmitters. However, Transpower does not have transmitters. Are you able to clarify/elaborate on what you mean by backup transmitters?

Ngā mihi nui
Charlotte

CHARLOTTE EDWARDS
Corporate Counsel
Transpower New Zealand Ltd 
 
CAUTION: This message and any attachments contain information that is CONFIDENTIAL and may be LEGALLY PRIVILEGED. If you are not the intended recipient any use, disclosure or copying of this email message or attachments is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and erase all copies of this message and attachments. 
Thank you. 

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