Hydroelectric Power Plants in New Zealand - South Island

Location: Canterbury
Operator: Meridian Energy Ltd
Configuration: 4 X 55 MW Francis
Operation: 1968
T/G supplier: Siemens
Quick facts: The earth and concrete Aveiemore Dam is part of the Waitaki River Hydroelectric System.

Photograph by Ingolfson (wikipedia)
Posted 30 Oct 2010

Location: Canterbury
Operator: Meridian Energy Ltd
Configuration: 5 X 90 MW Francis
Operation: 1964-1966
T/G supplier: DePretto Escher Wyss, Canadian General Electric
EPC: Ministry of Works, NZ Electricity Dept
Quick facts: Benmore Dam on the Waitaki River near Otematata is one of the largest earth dams in the Southern Hemisphere and Lake Benmore is the biggest reservoir in New Zealand. The facility is also the site of the HVDC link for electricity transfer between the South and North Islands. Construction began in 1958.

Photograph by Norman Mackay
Posted 9 Apr 2006

Location: Otago
Operator: Contact Energy Ltd
Configuration: 4 X 108 MW Francis
Operation: 1992
T/G supplier: Hitachi
Quick facts: The 60m Clyde Dam is the largest concrete gravity dam in the country. Lake Dunstan inundated the toes of 14 major landslides in the Cromwell Gorge section of the reservoir, an unusual situation which gave rise to concerns regarding sudden land shifts or movements which could endanger nearby communities. Large-scale remedial works were undertaken to stabilize four landslide areas and 6km of lake shore.

Photograph courtesy of Contact Energy Ltd
Posted 27 Apr 2004

Location: Southland
Operator: Meridian Energy Ltd
Configuration: 7 X 83 MW Francis
Operation: 1969-1971
T/G supplier: Harland and Wolff, Siemens
Quick facts:
The Manapouri power station in the largest hydro power station in New Zealand and is located 220m underground within Fiordland National Park. The powerhouse cavern is cut from solid rock and is 111m long, 18m wide and 39m high.

Photograph by Andrew McCabe
Posted 13 Nov 2004

Location: Southland
Operator: Pioneer Generation Ltd
Configuration: 3 X 2.6 MW Francis
Operation: 1925 (rebuilt 2005-2007)
T/G supplier: Turab, Alconza
Quick facts: Development of the Monowai scheme began in 1914 and the project was taken up by the Southland Electric Power Board when formed in 1918. Work started on Monowai in 1921 and the station opened in May 1925. Water is sourced from the outlet of Lake Monowai and a lake control dam on the Monowai River. From a headpond, a 865m canal leads to the forebay and penstocks. Three double-runner double runner Francis turbines were installed. In 2004 it was decided to replace the units. At the same time, the old riveted penstocks were replaced by 1.6m diameter welded steel pipelines. Several of the original T/G components were acquired by Clearwater Hydro.

Photograph courtesy of IPENZ Engineers New Zealand
Posted 27 Dec 2010

Opuha Dam
Location: Canterbury
Operator: Alpine Energy Ltd
Configuration: 1 X 7.5 MW Francis
Operation: 1998
T/G supplier: Kvaerner, Ideal

Photograph courtesy of Networks South
Posted 2 Apr 2001


Location: Otago
Operator: Contact Energy Ltd
Configuration: 8 X 40 MW Francis
Operation: 1956-1959
T/G supplier: DePretto Escher Wyss, GEC
Quick facts: The Roxburgh Dam on the Clutha River was the first of the large hydroelectric projects in southern South Island. It is 160km from Dunedin and was constructed between 1949 and 1956. Lake Roxburgh extends for nearly 30km.

Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia
Posted 9 Apr 2006

Location: Canterbury
Operator: Genesis Energy Ltd
Configuration: 1 X 25 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1951
T/G supplier: Tampella, GEC
Quick facts: This power station was built at the southern outflow of Lake Tekapo. Construction started in 1938 with completion scheduled by 1943, but construction was interrupted by WW II and the plant finally completed in 1951. The original turbine failed in 1986 and was replaced. In Apr 2011, the sale of the Tekapo A&B plants from Meridian Energy to Genesis Energy was agreed. and the NZ$821mn transaction was completed in Jun 2011.

Photograph courtesy of Meridian Energy
Posted 18 Jun 2011

Location: Canterbury
Operator: Genesis Energy Ltd
Configuration: 2 X 80 MW Francis
Operation: 1977
T/G supplier: CGE, GEC
Quick facts: As part of the development of the Upper Waitaki hydroelectric scheme in the 1970s, water from Lake Tekapo was redirected into a 26km canal running to Tekapo-B PS on the shores of Lake Pukaki.

Photograph by nut.in.a.ut (Panoramio)
Posted 18 Jun 2011

Location: Canterbury
Operator: Meridian Energy Ltd
Configuration: 7 X 15 MW Francis
Operation: 1934-1954
T/G supplier: Boving, GEC
EPC: Public Works Dept
Quick facts: This was the first major dam to be built in the South Island and construction got underway in mid-1928. The dam is 522m and reaches 33m in height. The power house is situated on the right bank of the Waitaki River and was originally designed to have five generators but only two were installed when the plant opened in Oct 1934. The remaining machines were installed at intervals thereafter.

Photograph courtesy of IPENZ Engineers New Zealand
Posted 27 Dec 2010



Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 06/18/11