New Zealand utility Contact Energy is considering the addition of a small hydro station to increase generation at its existing Clutha hydroelectric scheme.
If approved, the new facility would be installed at the control gates at Lake Hawea, which stores water for a hydro power project located on the Clutha river, and would comprise two turbines with a total generating capacity of 12–16MW.
‘The proposed scheme represents a more efficient use of the water flow from Lake Hawea,’ said Contact Energy chief executive Steve Barrett. ‘The two turbines will be driven from the existing water flow from Hawea dam into the Hawea river. The fall of 20m is currently unused for electricity generation.’
Contact Energy has filed an application with the Otago Regional Council and the Queenstown Lakes District Council for consent of its expansion proposals, which could increase generation by up to 70GWh of electricity per year.
If it gets the go-ahead, the new scheme could be commissioned by the end of 2006.