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Aviemore hydro station

Aviemore is a hydro station located in the Waitaki Valley. 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 dimensionally the largest in New Zealand. The rotors are nearly eight metres in diameter and weigh 210 tonnes.

The dam itself has 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.

Building Aviemore

Government approval to build the Aviemore dam and hydro station was granted in October 1962. Together with Benmore and Waitaki, it forms the mid-Waitaki power scheme.

The first concrete for the dam was poured in August 1964, with the largest single pour taking 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 seven metres in diameter. (A penstock is a pipe that carries water into a power station.)

Key dates

  • 1962 – Construction begins
  • 1968 – Aviemore fully operational

Meridian Power Up community fund

Our Power Up community fund supports local projects in the areas where we operate. It’s one of the ways in which we recognise the importance of local communities to our operations.

If you’re based near a Meridian hydro station and have a project you’d like help with, apply now!

Power Up community fund

Tackling Zero

Tackling Zero is Meridian’s quarterly newsletter for people whose roles or studies are focused on sustainability, or for whom this is an area of interest. Each issue will offer Meridian’s insights into a topical sustainability issue, as well as stories on how we, our customers and supply chain partners are tackling sustainability. It also includes links to recent Meridian disclosures such as new policies and reports.