Hydro electricity is an efficient way of generating a substantial amount of renewable energy every year and Meridian Energy Australia is continually interested in the development of pumped hydro in Australia.
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 2018, Meridian Energy became the owner of three hydro power stations in NSW:
- Hume hydro power station is located about 20km upstream from Albury-Wodonga in New South Wales and produces approximately 203GWh of renewable energy each year – enough to power around 40,000* households. Environmental monitoring results for Hume hydro power station are available here
- Burrinjuck hydro power station is located in New South Wales about 100km from Canberra and produces approximately 81GWh of renewable energy each year – enough to power around 16,000* households.
- Keepit hydro power station is located in northern New South Wales about 60km from Tamworth and produces 10GWh of renewable energy each year – enough to power around 2,000* households.
*Based on an average household usage of 5MWh p.a.
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.
Hydro electricity is an efficient way of generating a substantial amount of renewable energy every year and Meridian Energy Australia will be looking into developing more (pumped) hydro stations in the future.
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.