Westpower owns and operates the electricity distribution network on the West Coast of the South Island. We take great pride in ensuring we build and maintain networks which provide the reliable delivery of electricity to our business and domestic consumers.
Westpower is developing sustainable and renewable energy projects that will benefit the West Coast. As a community owned company we have an obligation to explore opportunities which will make the supply of electricity to consumers more reliable. In addition, we have a responsibility to look for investments that will provide returns for our consumers that will last into the future. The benefits from these returns are passed on to consumers in a number of ways, not just through the line charges passed on to consumer's retail companies.
Currently Westpower is constructing a run of river hydro generation scheme on the Amethyst River north of Harihari, which is due to be completed early in 2013. The Amethyst River Hydro Scheme will provide a peak output of 7 MW. Investigations show that such schemes are economically feasible and are beneficial to local communities not only because they assist in reducing transmission losses, but also for the contribution they make to security of supply.
Westpower has recently resumed investigations into the potential for a run of river hydro scheme on the Waitaha River. The proposed 16-20 MW Waitaha Scheme is similar in construction to the Amethyst Scheme and involves taking water out of the river, piping it downhill (via a tunnel) to a powerhouse located on the river flats below the Morgan Gorge and returning the water to the river.
The Waitaha Scheme will produce approximately 110-120 GWh per year with a peak output of about 16-20 MW. This will power up to 12,000 households and will service about 25% of the West Coast's energy needs.
We welcome your feedback on the Waitaha Scheme and any comments on the options outlined.
Westpower has not yet sought any statutory approvals for the Waitaha Hydro Scheme. We are seeking feedback on the proposal at an early stage, when it can best inform our investigations and decisions on option selection, project design and proceeding with statutory approvals.
Westpower has already held two local public information days about the Waitaha Scheme and is continuing to meet with interested parties and those that have expressed an interest in the proposal.
Please send your feedback to Waitaha@electronet.co.nz or to Westpower, PO Box 375, Greymouth.
This website provides preliminary information about the proposed Waitaha Hydro Scheme. The information will be added to and updated as we proceed with our investigations and refine the proposal.