New Zealand’s wholesale electricity prices fell to their lowest levels in July, as rain filled hydro dams to near record levels.

Electricity prices dropped to about US$13 per MWh from as much as US$23 in late June. About two-thirds of New Zealand’s electricity comes from hydro generation.

After the recent rains hydro storage stood at 3503GWh of generation — 38% more than the average for this time of year. Inflows were also 14% higher than average.

In 1998, the wettest year since the wholesale market began operating, lake storage peaked at the equivalent of just over 4000GWH of electricity — more than 70% ahead of the average. This was also accompanied by a collapse in power prices.