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Arnold Power Station

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Arnold Hydroelectric Power Station is sited on the Arnold River and is fed by Lake Brunner, in the South Island of New Zealand. The station was commissioned in 1932 and has an average annual generation output of 25 GWh. A new Trustpower project called the Arnold Valley Hydroelectric Power Scheme is being developed behind Dobson township, with a projected output of 46 MW.

At a Glance

LOCATION: Arnold River

Commissioned 1932

Max Capacity 3 MW

Annual output 25 GWh

Arnold Station is in a region of high rainfall — it generates at high capacity all year, without need to control the level of Lake Brunner. A dam across the Arnold River maintains the water levels to power the station’s turbines.

Environment and recreation

Upstream of the dam, there’s an excellent recreational fishery, as well as recreational camping and walking areas. Downstream, the combined flow from generation, spillway gates and the remainder of the river supports a stable fishery. The river is also popular for kayaking.

At the dam, there’s an annual elver (young eel) trap and transfer programme. This aims to help boost numbers of Longfin Eel.

New project - Arnold Valley Hydroelectric Power Scheme

After plans for a dam in the valley behind Dobson township were dropped, we developed plans for a smaller scheme, with less storage and a projected output of 46 MW. 

We lodged consent applications for the Arnold Valley Hydroelectric Power Scheme in 2010. These were publicly notified and there was a consent hearing. In late 2008, West Coast Regional Council and Grey District Council granted Trustpower consents for the project.

An appeal was lodged with the Environment Court, but this was overturned. In December 2010 final consents were granted to Trustpower, with a 10 year lapse period. We expect to complete detailed designs for the new project in the near future.

Arnold Power Station
Arnold Power Station


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