Waitaki Hydro Scheme

Waitaki Hydro Scheme
Meridian Energy’s Waitaki hydro scheme produces electricity using water and snow from catchments within the Southern Alps.
Its eight power stations are in a chain so each volume of water can be used to produce electricity up to eight times.

– The upper Waitaki
– The mid Waitaki
– More than 100 resource consents

The upper Waitaki
In the upper Waitaki water is passed from storage lakes through canals to each power station.

Power stations
Tekapo A
Tekapo B
Ohau A
Ohau B & C

A major feature of the upper Waitaki hydro scheme is the canals which help combine the resources of Lakes Tekapo, Pukaki and Ohau.
These canals have a total length of more than 58 kilometres. Their construction required the excavation of nearly 45 million cubic meters of spoil.
The canals allow fishing all year round. The Tekapo canal contains a Sockeye salmon farm while the Ohau C canal has a Chinook salmon farm.

Canal Length (km) With (metres) Depth (metres) Peak Flow (m3/s)
Tekapo Canal 26.5 39.6 5.3 130
Pukaki Canal 12.0 80.4 10.1 560
Ohau Canal 8.4 63.5 5.8 200
Ohau Canal A 1.0 97.0 12.0 560
Ohau Canal B 2.8 97.6 10.1 560
Ohau Canal C 7.3 97.6 10.1 560

The dams
There are two dams on the upper Waitaki, the Pukaki high dam and the Ruataniwha dam.

The mid Waitaki
The mid Waitaki power stations discharge water back into the Waitaki River which then forms a storage lake for the next station in the chain.

Mid Waitaki
The three power stations are
– Aviemore and
– Waitaki.

More than 100 resource consents
Meridian Energy holds more than 100 resource consents for the operation of the Waitaki power scheme.
These consents provide for the taking, damming, diversion and discharge of water throughout the scheme. They are supported by conditions and our „Operating Rules“ which both describe in detail how we operate the power scheme.
Meridian also holds other consents for ancillary operations supporting the scheme including erosion protection works, sewerage facilities and bore-holes near our dams used for surveillance monitoring of dam structures.

Hydro power station statistics

Power Station Nominal Annual Generation (GWh) Which equals enough power to supply
Tekapo A 160 Dunedin for 2 1/4 Month
Tekapo B 800 Dunedin for 11 1/2 Month
Ohau A 1150 Dunedin for 16 Month
Ohau B 970 Dunedin for 14 Month
Ohau C 970 Dunedin for 14 Month
Benmore 2200 Christchurch for 10 Month
Aviemore 900 Dunedin for 13 Month
Waitaki 500 Dunedin for 13 Month