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The transmission system in New Zealand has not had any significant new build for some thirty years. Transpower New Zealand Limited is the owner and operator of the grid and is responsible for developing transmission proposals for approval by and independent regulator. Investment proposals have be able to demonstrate that non-transmission alternatives have been appropriately considered. As part of the assessment of alternatives Transpower has recently completed an investigation project to evaluate demand side participation as a mechanism to potentially defer investments or manage delivery risk. Additionally Transpower is developing a grid support contract product as a mechanism to evaluate non-transmission solutions as part of any investment proposal.