Dr Ben Anderson and Dr Daniel Gnoth (PowerCo) have co-convened a workshop on “Local Area Electricity Demand Modelling: Why, how and what do we need to do?” held at the University of Otago, New Zealand on 20th November 2019. The workshop, which attracted over 20 attendees from across the New Zealand electricity sector was a showcase for the results of Dr Anderson’s two year SPATIALEC-funded secondment at the University’s Centre for Sustainability.  He presented highlights from his work on small area electricity demand estimation alongside invited presentations from power sector operators, Transpower (grid operator) and a range of consultants and new energy service market entrants.

The workshop was conducted as a seamless virtual/physical event via Zoom and was loosely structured around a series of presentations of current work together with associated discussion, theme synthesis and direction-setting. Half of the attendees attended remotely from Wellington, Auckland and the USA and the workshop was operated under the Chatham House rule: attendees may use the information received but they may not identify either the source of the information or any other participant unless explicit consent is obtained to do so.

To date the outcomes of the workshop have included the development of at least one proposal to continue the work in New Zealand through government research funding and ongoing discussions with several electricity distribution businesses (EDBs) on the value of the methods to their business as usual demand modelling work.