About Ōhau C

Ōhau C generates enough electricity each year for about 115,000 average New Zealand homes.

Ōhau C is a twin station with Ōhau B, and both hydro stations have the same generating capacity and use similar equipment.

Water from Lake Ruataniwha flows through Ōhau B, then goes into the Ōhau C canal, which takes it to the Ōhau C power station and out into Lake Benmore. 

The Waitaki hydro scheme

Ōhau C was built as part of the Upper Waitaki hydro scheme.

The Waitaki hydro scheme is made up of eight hydro stations on the Waitaki River in the South Island. 


Meridian owns and operates six of the hydro stations, located from Lake Pūkaki to Waitaki. 

Find out more about the Waitaki hydro scheme »

Building Ōhau C

Ōhau C was the last station built as part of the Upper Waitaki hydro scheme, which began in 1968.

The Upper Waitaki hydro scheme involved building four hydro stations, along with two dams and six canals totalling 56 kilometres. About 50 million cubic metres of material was excavated for the canals and other earth works.

Ōhau B and C were the last hydro stations to be built on the Waitaki hydro scheme, completing the scheme 56 years after construction first began on the Waitaki dam and power station in 1928. 

Key dates

  • 1979
    Construction begins
  • 1985
    Ōhau C fully operational

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