Genesis Energy sells small hydro scheme to local Trust
27 January 2011
Genesis Energy has sold its 1MW Kourarau Power Scheme in the Wairarapa to the Tararua Foundation Incorporated (a Wairarapa based charitable Trust) which is managed by Trust House Limited (a Wairarapa based community enterprise).
The Kourarau Hydro Power Scheme, located 10km south-east of Masterton, has been in operation since 1923. The scheme was acquired by Genesis Energy in 1999 as part of the purchase of the Wairarapa electricity customer base. It consists of two small power stations each fed by a small reservoir formed by the damming of the Kourarau Stream. It has an installed capacity of 910kW producing upwards of 250 - 300 kWh of electricity per year.
Genesis Energy Chief Executive Albert Brantley said the Kourarau assets were small and relatively isolated from Genesis Energy’s other assets. He said the company felt they were better suited to local ownership and more hands-on management.
Trust House indicated a strong interest in taking ownership of the assets which continue to produce electricity and noted that the assets have a significant historical connection with the Wairarapa area, having been part of the visual landscape for almost 90 years.
Over the past five years, Genesis Energy has invested significant expenditure in repair and upgrade work. This work was required in order to repair previous flood and slip damage and to mitigate against future flood damage, to meet regulatory requirements in revenue metering and to bring the scheme up to modern dam and health & safety standards. In addition, Genesis Energy has also worked to tidy up a range of land issues that have existed since the 1920’s. This has included working with adjacent land owners to purchase and sell land, re-align land boundaries, formalise access easements and to formalise public access arrangements to provide for a public right-of-way from Tewharau Road to the top Kourarau reservoir.
The sale process dates back to 2007, when Genesis Energy was approached by a collective of Masterton based businessmen interested in returning Kourarau to community ownership in the Wairarapa region. These businessmen emphasised the significant historical value of Kourarau to the Wairarapa community as well as the long-term amenity, ecological and recreational value of the land and upper reservoir to the Community. They identified Trust House as a suitable entity for community ownership.
The Kourarau Power Scheme will transfer from Genesis Energy to Tararua Foundation Inc. as soon as final details are completed which is likely at this stage to be around mid - late February 2011.
For more information contact:
Public Affairs Manager
P: 09 580 4782
M: 021 681 305