TrustPower is one of New Zealand's "big five" integrated generators-retailers, the others being state-owned or controlled from Australia.
TrustPower's 209,000 customers are mainly in provincial centres, especially the Bay of Plenty and the South Island. TrustPower retails to approximately 12.0% of the New Zealand market.
TrustPower's generation is provided from thirty three hydro power stations and two windfarms. Because of their dispersed locations and different features and catchments, the power stations offer TrustPower some hedge against "dry years" and other fluctuations that are a feature of the New Zealand industry. TrustPower contributes about 7% of New Zealand's hydro/wind generation and 5% of the national energy output.
TrustPower's generation is sufficient for its retail customers. TrustPower also retails to industrial and commercial customers and it is a significant purchaser of additional electricity from the wholesale market.
TrustPower has a conservative capital structure. As at 31 March 2012 TrustPower had shareholders' funds of $1.57 billion.
TrustPower has grown from initial ownership of the 40 MW Kaimai scheme near Tauranga, through an active acquisition programme between 1999 and 2003 which assembled approximately 400 MW, nearly all hydro power stations but also with the 32 MW first stage of the Tararua windfarm. TrustPower has successfully integrated these geographically diverse schemes into unified operational management regimes and systematic asset management programmes. In more recent years TrustPower has actively invested in a renewable generation development programme which has brought the total owned hydro and wind generation to 630 MW in New Zealand, as well as the 100MW Snowtown Wind Farm in South Australia.
TrustPower's earnings and value have benefited from the increase in wholesale electricity prices which reflect the rising costs of gas and coal which are the marginal fuels for electricity generation. More recently, climate change related policy initiatives are intended to see wholesale prices increase to include recognition of international carbon prices on to these marginal fuels, a position linked with an expectation of a mainly renewable generation expansion outlook for New Zealand.