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Waihopai Power Station

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  • 1910
  • 1920
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Waihopai Hydroelectric Power Station was originally commissioned in 1927, supplying power to Marlborough, at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. Upgrades over the years have increased the Scheme’s average annual generation output to over 10 GWh. An ongoing trap and transfer programme is in place to enhance the eel population of the Waihopai River catchment.

At a Glance

LOCATION: Waihopai River

Commissioned 1927

Max Capacity 2.4 MW

Annual output 10.9 GWh

Waihopai Power Station began operating in 1927, supplying electricity to Blenheim and the surrounding area. The original capacity was just 1 MW. Demand for electricity quickly rose, and in 1930 and 1937, capacity was expanded with new diesel generating sets. Plans to further increase capacity were blocked in 1943 due to Government wartime import restrictions. 

 In 1996, we installed a new 2 MW generator and turbine to replace one of the existing 500 kW units. This and other upgrade work has lifted maximum output to 2.4 MW, with an annual average output of 10.9 GWh. 

Environment and recreation 

In 2004, Waihopai was successfully granted Resource Consents allowing operation until 2039. More recently, a trap and transfer programme for elver (young eel) and adult Longfin Eels has been established, to enhance the eel population of the Waihopai River catchment.

Waihopai Station and Penstocks
Waihopai Station and Penstocks

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