Tekapo Power Scheme
The Tekapo Power Scheme is located at the head of the Waitaki Valley in the Mackenzie District and uses water from the glacial-fed Lake Tekapo to generate electricity through two power stations: Tekapo A (25MW) and Tekapo B (160MW). The scheme is situated close to the majestic Aoraki Mt Cook and near the township of Lake Tekapo.
The turquoise colour of the lake is caused by suspended fine silts created by glaciation. These fine silts are transported to Lake Tekapo via the rivers that feed the lake including Godley River, Macauley River and Cass River.
Water is taken from Lake Tekapo through an intake tunnel and generates electricity through Tekapo A Power Station. Outflows from Tekapo A flow through the Tekapo Canal before entering Tekapo B Power Station. Tekapo B sits in the bed of Lake Pukaki, with outflows entering Lake Pukaki.
The Tekapo Power Scheme has been owned and operated by Genesis Energy since 1 June 2011. Resource consents and all rights and obligations under related stakeholder agreements were also transferred to Genesis Energy on 1 June 2011. The purchase of the scheme was a result of government reforms enabled under the Electricity Industry Act 2010.
|TEKAPO POWER STATION|
Tekapo A - 1951
Tekapo A - 25MW
Tekapo A - One 25MW unit
Contribution to the National Grid
The current overall scheme capacity is 185.2 MW. The annual electricity generation of the scheme varies from around 850 GWh to 1000 GWh from year to year due to factors such as hydraulic inflows or maintenance activities .
Challenges faced in operating the scheme
The Tekapo Power Scheme is located close to areas of national importance in a region that has high tourist numbers and high recreational use due to the scenic and natural value of the region.
The only way to get water from one power station to the next is via the Tekapo Canal. The Tekapo Canal has no spillway so water volumes must be carefully managed.
Genesis Energy has many resource consents to operate the scheme. Monitoring and reporting to ensure compliance with the consent conditions forms a significant part of the operation of the scheme. Genesis Energy also has mitigation agreements in place to manage its effects on the environment. In addition, environmental initiatives have been set up to enhance the surrounding environment and these are over and above the consent related legal obligations.
There is very limited environmental monitoring required under resource consent conditions. Genesis Energy is reviewing and developing an environmental monitoring programme that will be implemented by mid 2012 to ensure we understand the environment we are operating in and the actual and potential impacts we have on it, and to allow us to assess opportunities to further reduce our environmental impact. The results of this work will be shared with interested parties.