Hydro Power

Hydro Power

If you have a reliable stream on your property, hydro power may be a good option for generating electricity.

The amount of electricity you can generate from water depends on two factors:

  • The “Flow”  – how much water flows in the stream (litres per second)
  • The ‘Head’ – the vertical height difference between the water inlet and the hydro generator (metres)

The quantity of power that can be extracted from the water is a combination of the head and flow. In practical terms, higher head is more economic to develop than larger flow.

Micro hydro usually only uses part of a stream flow, minimising the impact on stream life.

A hydro development may require resource consents

Hydroelectricity in New Zealand

Hydroelectric power has been a large part of New Zealand’s energy system for over 100 years and continues to provide more than 50% of our electricity needs. By the early 1950s, over 1,000 MW of installed capacity was from hydro energy. In 1965, the High Voltage Direct Current transmission line between Benmore in the South Island and Haywards in the North Island was commissioned. From this point onwards, hydro capacity in the South Island increased rapidly, with developments including the 540 MW Benmore power station in 1966, the 700 MW Manapouri power station in 1971 and the 432 MW Clyde Dam, which was commissioned in 1992. By the mid-1990s, hydro capacity had reached over 5,000 MW, and remains around this level today.

If you think Hydo Power would be suitable for your property, contact FreshEnergy for an on-site consultation.

Contact us for advice on your hydro potential


Alternative Power Sources: