Tekapo A Power Station

The Tekapo A power station is both an important part of New Zealand’s electricity generating network, and an historic site in its own right.

First in the line of stations in the upper Waitaki.
Construction began in 1938 but stopped with the outbreak of the Second World War. Work restarted in 1946 with the powerhouse being commissioned in 1951, two years before the completion of the dam.
Water for the station flows through a 1.6 kilometre tunnel from the Lake Tekapo intake. This passes through a glacial moraine; a new tunnelling technique was developed to deal with this type of geography.
A 61 metre-long reinforced concrete dam at Tekapo controls the flow from the lake and allows flood waters to be stored for electricity generation. Excess can be spilled through any of five sluice gates. These can cope with a flow of 850 cubic metres per second.
Water can also bypass the station and be channelled into the canal which supplies Tekapo B power station.
Once the water has passed through Tekapo A it joins the canal leading to the Tekapo B power station.

Key statistics
– Dam length: 61.0 m
– Dam height: 12.2 m
– Lake area: 88 sq km
– Nominal annual generation: 160 GWh
– Installed capacity: 25 MW