Aviemore hydro station

Aviemore is a hydro station located in the Waitaki Valley, New Zealand. 

It has four 55 megawatt generating units, and a generation output of up to 220 megawatts

Aviemore generates enough electricity each year for about 107,000 average New Zealand homes.

The Aviemore generators are the largest in New Zealand. The rotors are nearly 8 metres in diameter and weigh 210 tonnes.

The dam itself is made in two parts: an earth dam and a concrete dam. It is the biggest dam of this type in New Zealand, and is the second largest concrete dam – the largest being the Clyde dam.

An aerial view of the Aviemore hydro stationAn aerial view of the Aviemore hydro station

Building Aviemore

Government approval to build the Aviemore dam and hydro station was granted in October 1962.

The first concrete for the dam was placed in August 1964 – the largest single pour of concrete took three days. Two shifts of more than 40 men toiled to raise the dam from foundation level to an impressive height of 58 metres. 

Aviemore dam has the largest penstocks in New Zealand – an impressive 7 metres in diameter. (A penstock is the pipe that carries the water into the power station.)

Key dates

  • 1962
    Construction begins
  • 1968
    Aviemore fully operational