New power station for South Canterbury

A small new power station in South Canterbury will cost state-owned power generator Meridian Energy nearly $4 million.

A small new power station in South Canterbury will cost state-owned power generator Meridian Energy nearly $4 million.

Meridian's water infrastructure development manager Nick Eldred could not give likely construction costs but according to the Timaru Herald, planning documents estimate the costs for building the new lines and substation alone will be more than $3.9 million.

The 35-megawatt hydro station should provide enough electricity to power 10,000 homes. It will be built on land around the Pukaki-Ohau canal gate and canal, which Meridian already owns. It will generate electricity from water leaving Lake Pukaki.

It is part of a Waitaki hydro scheme, which currently has eight power stations. They range in size from Tekapo A (generating 25MW) to the largest – the 540 MW-generating Benmore. The new station will be bigger than Tekapo A.

Genesis Energy bought Tekapo A and B from Meridian Energy earlier this month, paying $821 million for the two stations.

Mr Eldred said no start date had yet been set for work on the Pukaki power station, but the project would take up to 28 months to complete.

Meridian estimates it will employ between 80 and 150 workers to build the station.