TrustPower has announced a NZ$8.5M (US$6M) scheme to generate hydro at two irrigation projects in Canterbury, New Zealand.

The proposals, totalling approximately 6MW, involve the installation of turbines in irrigation races at Mayfield-Hinds and Ashburton-Lyndhurst. The scheme will provide enough power to supply 2700 homes, depending upon irrigation flow.

The proposed new generation has only been made possible through the awarding of carbon credits, under the Government’s Projects to Reduce Emissions programme. These credits are awarded under a tender process to projects that will lead to a reduction in emissions, and would not otherwise be financially viable.

‘In addition to generating extra power at what is now a peak time of the year for regions with irrigation, those schemes will directly benefit irrigators as a result of TrustPower paying for the right to use water prior to its use for irrigation,’ said TrustPower’s Chief Executive, Keith Tempest. ‘In addition they reduce the amount of power needing to be imported into the Electricity Ashburton network, and assist New Zealand to meet its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.’