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Cobb Power Station

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  • Kaniere Forks/McKays Creek Power Scheme
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Cobb Hydroelectric Power Station sits in mountainous country at the junction of the Takaka and Cobb Rivers, in the upper South Island of New Zealand. The stored water is at 794 metres in altitude, almost 600 vertical metres above the power station. This ‘head’ is the greatest of any New Zealand power station, enabling 32 MW of power to be generated from comparatively little water. Cobb’s average annual output is 192 GWh.

At a Glance

LOCATION: Takaka/Cobb Rivers

Commissioned 1944

Max Capacity 32 MW

Annual output 192 GWh

Cobb Power Station was commissioned in 1944. Water is taken from the Cobb River, which runs from the Tasman Mountains into the Cobb Valley. The water is stored in the Cobb dam at 794 metres in altitude. Water then passes through a tunnel system and two steel penstocks, travelling 4 kilometres to the Power Station. 

Electricity is generated from six single-runner Pelton turbines, four of which produce 3 MW and two of which produce 10 MW. Because of the 595 metre head (height difference) between stored water and the Power Station, 32 MW of power is generated from only 7.25 cubic metres a second, of water. 

Environment and recreation

The dam is surrounded by magnificent tussock and beech forest. The area is popular for tramping, fishing and other outdoor recreation. 

In 2004, Resource Consents were granted for a further 35 years, with expiry scheduled for 2039.

Cobb Lake level

Please click here to view Cobb Lake levels.

Cobb Power Station
Cobb Power Station

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