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Patea Power Scheme

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Trustpower’s Patea Hydroelectric Power Scheme is on Patea River in the central North Island of New Zealand. The 82 metre (m) high compacted earth fill dam is New Zealand’s fourth highest dam; while the dam creates Lake Rotorangi, New Zealand’s longest man-made lake. Patea Station has an average annual power output of 108 GWh.

At a Glance

LOCATION: Lake Rotorangi

Commissioned 1984

Max Capacity 32 MW

Annual output 108 GWh

The Patea Scheme began producing power in 1984. The dam was the first to be built in New Zealand using tertiary sandstone and siltstone as fill materials. Behind the dam, Lake Rotorangi is approximately 46 kilometres long. 

The Scheme has three vertical Francis turbine and generator sets and one residual flow generator. Total capacity is 32 MW and the average annual output is 108 GWh. 

Environment and recreation 

The Patea Dam is too large and high to install an effective upstream fish pass, so Trustpower has an active trap and transfer programme to assist native fish migration.

The dam does include an adult eel bypass and we also time the spillway gate operations to assist with downstream migration when it is migration season and weather conditions indicate there are likely to be migrating adult eels.

In 2017, our Taranaki generation team won a Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Award, 'Te Taiao me te Pākihi – Environmental Leadership in Business' for trapping and successfully transferring migrating native fish and increasing biodiversity in the headwaters of the Patea catchment.

Lake Rotorangi is a popular recreational lake in South Taranaki, particularly over the summer months.

Please refer to the attached Hazard Maps below, which show the Lake's areas hazardous for boating. These maps identify areas of shallow water depth and submerged hazards considered dangerous to recreational lake users during times of low lake levels. This survey was undertaken in 2011, as required by Trustpower's resource consent.

Lake Rotorangi Hazard Map 1
Lake Rotorangi Hazard Map 2

New Resource Consents for the Patea Scheme were gained in 2008 and will expire in the year 2040.

Patea Lake Level 

Please click here to view Patea Lake levels.

Patea Powerhouse and Spillway
Patea Powerhouse and Spillway

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