Ōhau C hydro station

Ōhau C is a hydro station located in the Mackenzie Basin, New Zealand.

It has four 55.5 megawatt generating units, and a generation output of up to 212 megawatts.

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. 

An aerial view of the Ohau C hydro station

Aerial view of the Ōhau C hydro station. The Ōhau C hydro station, the last hydro station to be commissioned on the Waitaki hydro scheme in 1985.

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