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Whakamaru Power Station
Whakamaru Power Station.jpg
Whakamaru Power Station overview.
Whakamaru Power Station is located in New Zealand
Whakamaru Power Station
Location of Whakamaru Power Station in New Zealand
Country New Zealand
Location Lake Whakamaru, Waikato River
Coordinates 38°25.178′S 175°48.493′E / 38.419633°S 175.808217°E / -38.419633; 175.808217Coordinates: 38°25.178′S 175°48.493′E / 38.419633°S 175.808217°E / -38.419633; 175.808217
Status Operational
Commission date 1949, 1956
Owner(s) Mighty River Power
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Hydroelectric
Power generation
Units operational
Nameplate capacity 100 MW (130,000 hp)

Whakamaru Power Station is a hydroelectric power station on the Waikato River, in the North Island of New Zealand. It was the fourth[citation needed] hydroelectric power station on the Waikato River to be installed.

Whakamaru is one of the larger[citation needed] generating stations operating on the Waikato river. It is currently operated by state-owned electricity generator Mighty River Power. The adjacent Whakamaru switching station is operated by Transpower and is an important node[citation needed] on the national grid.


Development work started in 1949 with the construction on 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) of road from Mangakino which at the time was the operational centre of the Waikato hydroelectric scheme. Firstly a diversion channel 259 metres (850 ft) long, 31 metres (102 ft) deep and 7 metres (23 ft) wide was built taking 3 years to complete.

The foundation rock turned out to be deeply cracked and filled with clays rendering it partially porous. Shafts were sunk into the rock and this allowed the clay to be cleared and cement grout was later forced into the rock which was then back-filled with concrete.


Whakamaru is a major node in the North Island electricity grid. Electricity generated by Whakamaru, as well as the other five Waikato hydroelectric power stations, and from the geothermal power stations in the area converges at the Whakamaru substation on the western side of the dam. Power from Whakamaru is then transmitted via 220 kV lines to the Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu and Hamililton. The largest transmission route is to New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) to the north - three 220 kV circuits connect Whakamaru to Otahuhu in southern Auckland, with an additional circuit serving Otahuhu via Hamilton.

The main control centre for the electricity generation and transmission system for the entire North Island was established at Whakamaru in 1964. The facility continued to operate as the North Island System Control Centre until a replacement facility was established at Hamilton in 1992.[1]

A major new transmission line has been constructed from Whakamaru to Brownhill Road, the Whakamaru to Brownhill Road transmission line. close to the south Auckland urban boundary. This new line re-inforces supply to Auckland and allows for the large amount of new geothermal generation that is expected in the Taupo region over the next 5–7 years. A separate switching station, designated Whakamaru North, has been built approximately 800 metres (2,600 ft) from the current substation as the terminal station for the new line, with short tie-lines connecting to the existing substation.


  1. ^ Reilly, H (2008) p. 182-191

Further reading[edit]

  • Martin, John E, ed. (1991). People, Power and Power Stations: Electric Power Generation in New Zealand 1880 - 1990. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books Ltd and Electricity Corporation of New Zealand. pp. 316 pages. ISBN 0-908912-16-1. 
  • Reilly, Helen (2008). Connecting the Country: New Zealand’s National Grid 1886 - 2007. Wellington: Steele Roberts. pp. 376 pages. ISBN 978-1-877448-40-9. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whakamaru_Power_Station — Please support Wikipedia.
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4 news items

Radio New Zealand

Radio New Zealand
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:08:05 -0700

Mighty River Power is indicating electricity prices could come down on the back of a big profit rise. Mighty River Power's Whakamaru power station on the Waikato River. Mighty River's net profit of $212 million easily beat the prospectus forecast of ...

Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times
Fri, 09 May 2014 10:26:15 -0700

Risk of regulation: Mighty River Power's Whakamaru Power Station, on the Waikato River. Photo from MRP. Regardless of political allegiances, a cautious approach to election-sensitive sectors, and a well-diversified portfolio is needed to mitigate the ...

Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times
Tue, 23 Apr 2013 10:42:12 -0700

Mighty River Power's Whakamaru power station, on the Waikato River. Photo by Mighty River Power. Sharebrokers are reporting increased inquiries about Mighty River Power shares and some investors deciding to cancel their orders and get their money ...

Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times
Fri, 05 Apr 2013 09:51:15 -0700

Mighty River Power's Whakamaru Power Station, on the Waikato River. Photo by Mighty River Power. Mighty River Power is expected to list on May 10 with the indicative price range for the shares coming in at between $2.35 and $2.80 per share. Finance ...

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