Tekapo Power Scheme description
Tekapo A power station (27MW)
Lake Tekapo is the source of water for the entire Tekapo Power Scheme. The lake is dammed by the Lake Tekapo Control Structure at the head of the Tekapo River which also forms the bridge over the river at State Highway 8.
Construction of Tekapo A began in 1938 but was halted between 1942 and 1944 as labour and materials were diverted to World War II. The station was finally commissioned in 1951. Tekapo A Power Station generates electricity from water diverted from Lake Tekapo via a 1.4 kilometre intake tunnel.
In 1970 a 25.5 kilometre canal was constructed to take outflows from Tekapo A to Tekapo B. The Tekapo Canal has a maximum capacity of 130 cubic metres per second.
Water in Lake Tekapo can bypass Tekapo A Power Station via water releases through the Lake Tekapo Control Structure (State Highway 8 bridge at Tekapo). When the control gates are open water flows down the upper Tekapo River to Lake George Scott.
Water can then be released into the Tekapo Canal via a gate in the control structure that impounds Lake George Scott.
Tekapo B power station (160MW)
Commissioned in 1977, Tekapo B is the only power station in New Zealand completely surrounded by water. Sitting in Lake Pukaki, esentially as an island, the station is connected to land via a 74 metre long bridge and boasts outstanding views of Aoraki Mt Cook.
Constructed on huge concrete raft foundations, Tekapo B is 46 metres high. However, nearly two thirds of the power station is below the waterline. The station is powered by water from the Tekapo Canal with outflows entering Lake Pukaki. This same water then passes through a further six power stations within the Waitaki Catchment.