Strong landowner support is encouraging TrustPower to proceed with investigations into the feasibility of a hydro power scheme in the Wairau Valley in New Zealand's South Island.

The power generation company is considering a hydro scheme that could generate around 580GWh of additional power through three new power stations in the Wairau Valley.

TrustPower has proposed that a part of the Wairau river flow be diverted into the existing Branch Scheme and the water be diverted to the three stations using hydro canals. Current local generation of power is around 265GWh, compared with the annual regional demand of 1030GWh.