Lake Manapouri is not only a beautiful natural wonder, but it also plays an important role in New Zealand’s sustainable power supply. The lake is the location of the Manapouri Hydroelectric Power Station. It is the largest hydroelectric power station in New Zealand.
The power station was built in the 1960s. It is unique in that it uses the natural flow of water to generate electricity, rather than a dam. The station itself is located underground and consists of a network of tunnels and caverns that lead to the power generating turbines. The water flows from Lake Manapouri through the tunnels to the turbines. These then convert the energy into electricity.
The Manapouri Hydroelectric Power Station generates a significant amount of New Zealand’s electricity, able to generate enough power to over 600,000 homes. The station is also an important employer in the area, providing jobs for local residents and contributing to the economy.
Visitors to Lake Manapouri used to be able to take a tour of the power station to learn more about how it works and its role in New Zealand’s power supply. The tour took visitors through the underground tunnels and caverns of the power station. Here they could see the turbines in action and learn about the history and technology behind the station. However the Manapouri Station is closed indefinitely to visitors and cannot be accessed at this time.
The power station and its impact on Lake Manapouri have been the subject of controversy over the years, with concerns raised about the potential environmental impact of the station. However, measures have been put in place to mitigate these concerns, and the power station continues to play an important role in New Zealand’s renewable energy production.
Visitors can no longer visit the Power Station on an arranged tour. The location is deep within the natural beauty of Fiordland National Park.
The power station has been owned by Meridien Energy since 1999. Meridien Energy is a New Zealand power company which generates 100% of its power from renewable sources.
The power station used to be open to visitors as part of Doubtful Sound tours. However it currently closed indefinitely to visitors. It is still in active operation.
The power station is the largest hydroelectric power station in New Zealand. With 7 x 122 megawatt generating units and an operating maximum output of 800 megawatts. The station generates enough electricity each year for approximately 619,000 homes.
Most hydro power stations require a dam to provide the ability to drive the turbines. However Lake Manapouri Power Station uses the natural difference in water levels to achieve the same effect. There is therefore no need for a dam.