TrustPower’s planned Hydroelectric Scheme on the Arnold River is designed to make the West Coast of the South Island more self sufficient in terms of energy supply. TrustPower was granted consent to build the scheme by the Environment Court in November 2010.
The Arnold Hydroelectric Power Scheme is a planned 46 MW scheme which would create enough electricity power around 27,000 homes.
The Arnold River provides excellent flow characteristics for hydro-electric generation. This is due to Lake Brunner upstream, the largest natural lake on the West Coast, which provides natural regulation of flows.
The scheme will divert a proportion of the flow from the Arnold River, via a canal beginning at the location of the existing dam, to a storage pond. The power station will draw water from the storage pond, generate electricity through turbines and then return the water to the Arnold River via canals and a flow regulation pond located on Killeen Island.
In November 2010 the Environment Court upheld the Resource Consents for the scheme issued by the Grey district and West Coast Regional Councils.
TrustPower is now undertaking further geotechnical assessment and detailed technical design, with a report on the scheme expected to go to the TrustPower board of directors in mid - late 2011. All going well construction work could start in mid to late-2012.
The scheme is estimated to cost around $180 – 200 million.