How does water turn into energy?
The gravitational force associated with the natural flow or falling of water is used to generate electricity. The first step is to use a large reservoir to collect water from a river. The water then flows through the base of the reservoir, along a penstock and into a turbine. The turbine is connected to an electric generator which creates storable energy.
Meridian and hydro energy in Australia
In March 2003, Meridian Energy Australia purchased Southern Hydro and subsequently began upgrading the company’s hydro-electricity assets in north eastern Victoria. Meridian Energy Australia then sold Southern Hydro to AGL Energy in October 2005.
Australia has always relied on hydro electricity to generate a significant proportion of its electricity through schemes like Snowy Hydro, although droughts in recent years have caused the amount of electricity generated to decline.
Hydro electricity is an efficient way of generating a substantial amount of base load renewable energy every year and Meridian Energy Australia will be looking into developing more hydro stations as weather patterns change.
Meridian and hydro energy in New Zealand
In New Zealand, Meridian has an extensive portfolio of electricity generation assets including hydro stations in the Waitaki Valley in the South Island and at Lake Manapouri in Fiordland National Park.