Meridian Energy has announced it is investing more than $40M on a four-year project to refurbish the Waitaki dam and power station.
The Waitaki power station is the oldest station in the Waitaki hydro system and was built by manual labour as a ‘make-work’ programme during the 1930s Depression.
The power station has six operational 15MW generating units and generates enough electricity each year for about 62,000 average New Zealand homes.
“The Waitaki power station is an historic part of New Zealand’s electricity network and despite it being almost 80 years old and, with the work that we are planning, it will continue to provide reliable and sustainable electricity for many generations to come," said Neal Barclay, Meridian’s General Manager Markets and Production.
Meridian will carry out a range of work to ensure the old powerhouse building remains strong and usable. This work includes earthquake strengthening. The architectural-look of the building will be retained.
The four-year project is due to start in April and will involve the site’s seventh generation unit, which hasn’t operated for a number of years. The company will be upgrading the protection for the existing units to identify and rectify faults as early as possible, and will also be making the intersection to the site safer and carrying out erosion, seismic and flood protection work around the site.