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Our history

Meridian originated from the break-up of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand when the New Zealand electricity market was reformed in 1999.

Meridian's share of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand was corporatised as a state-owned enterprise. It has its own board of directors and two ministerial shareholders – the Minister of Energy and the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises.

  • 1904

    Waitaki Valley recognition

    • Mr P S Hay, in the government’s Public Works Department, recognises the electricity generation potential of the Waitaki Valley.
    1930

    Waitaki Dam begins

    • Work starts on the Waitaki Dam, as a ‘make work’ project during the 1930s depression.
    1951

    Tekapo A is fully operational

    1964

    Manapōuri hydro station construction begins


  • 1965

    Benmore hydro station is fully operational

    1968

    Waitaki hydro scheme


    1972

    Manapōuri hydro station is fully operational

    1977

    Tekapo B hydro station is fully operational

  • 1979

    Ōhau A hydro station is fully operational

    1985

    Ōhau B and C are fully operational

    1993

    Brooklyn wind turbine

    • Electricity Corporation of New Zealand installs the Brooklyn wind turbine, as part of a research project to find out how wind turbines perform in New Zealand conditions.  

  • 1999

    Meridian forms

    2001

    Meridian grows

    • Meridian buys five hydropower stations in Australia. Linked with dams, the stations are used primarily for irrigation, and have a total generating capacity of 62MW. 
    • Meridian buys the South Island customer base of Natural Gas Corporation - New Zealand’s largest electricity retailer at the time. 
     
    2002

    Manapōuri tunnel

    • The second Manapōuri tailrace tunnel (2MTT) is commissioned.
    2003

    Southern Hydro and Arc Innovations

    • Meridian buys the Australian power company Southern Hydro, increasing its Australian generation capacity by 540MW. 
    • Meridian establishes Arc Innovations, specialising in advanced meter infrastructure technology and services.
    2004

    First wind farm

    • Meridian's first wind farm, the 90MW Te Āpiti project, is operational. 
    2005

    Southern Hydro sale

    • Meridian sells its Australian operation, Southern Hydro, to the Australian Gas Light Company for AU$1.42 billion (NZ$1.52 billion). 
    2006

    Whisper Tech

    • Whisper Tech, a Christchurch-based company with an eco-friendly home heating system called WhisperGen™, becomes a full Meridian subsidiary. 
    2007

    White Hill and Right House

    • Right House launches. A subsidiary of Meridian that uses smart meter technology to help New Zealanders look after the way they run and heat their homes. 
     
    2009

    West Wind, Ross Island and Powershop

    • Ross Island three turbine wind farm in Antarctica is operational (approximately 1MW). 
    • Powershop launches. A subsidiary of Meridian that lets customers buy electricity and monitor their use online.
    2010

    CalRENEW-1 and Mt Millar

    • CalRENEW-1 5MW solar farm is operational. 
    • Meridian buys Mt Millar 70MW wind farm in South Australia.
    2011

    Te Uku, Tekapo, Right House and Whisper Tech

    • Te Uku 64MW wind farm is operational. 
    • Tekapo A and B hydropower stations are sold to Genesis Energy. 
    • Right House subsidiary is sold to UK-based Mark Group. 
    • Meridian subsidiary Whisper Tech transfers to Spain to manufacture and distribute direct to their market. 
    2012

    New CEO, Maama Mai and wind farm construction

    2013

    Government Share Offer Programme and KidsCan