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Waipori Centenary Talks Start This Week

Media Release, for immediate release, 31 October 2007

Waipori Centenary Talks Start This Week

Focus on past as well as future electricity generation

The history of the Waipori Hydro-Electric Power Scheme and the future of power development in the Otago region are just some of the topics being discussed in a series of talks being run as part of the Waipori Centenary Celebrations.

The Centennial Talks are being held at the Otago Settlers Museum. The free public talks start this Friday (2 November) and are running weekly in the lead up to the Waipori Centenary Celebrations, which are being held on 17 and 18 November 2007.

The schedule for the Centennial Talks is as follows:

Friday 2 November, 5.30 pm – Waipori: A development ahead of its time.

The history of the scheme, the reasons for its being built 100 years ago and the power station’s innovative development. Speaker – Mike Moeahu, Waipori Production Engineer.

Friday 9 November, 5.30 pm – Waipori: The vision forward.

TrustPower’s involvement in the Waipori scheme, TrustPower’s portfolio and how Waipori fits with the company’s future. Speaker – Ian Lees, TrustPower Production Manager.

Friday 16 Nov, 5.30 pm – Waipori Electricity Development: The future for the region

A talk about the country’s future power demand and meeting it in a sustainable manner. Speaker – Jim Pearson, Project Manager of TrustPower’s Mahinerangi Wind Farm and Deep Stream Hydro Projects.

TrustPower Community Relations Manager Graeme Purches says the Waipori Centenary Celebrations provide an excellent opportunity to look at the past, present and future of electricity development in the region.

“As well as offering insight into Waipori’s fascinating 100 year history, these talks will also look at what we as a country must do to ensure a reliable and secure power supply in another 100 years,” says Graeme Purches.

Meanwhile, the Waipori Centenary Open Days, which are being held on 17 and 18 November, are completely booked out weeks in advance of the event. In total, around 500 people will be visiting the power station during the weekend of Open Days.

The official opening of the Waipori Centenary Celebrations is taking place at 10 am on Saturday 17 November. Media are welcome to attend the event, with transport being provided from Berwick to the power station.

The Waipori Hydro-Electric Power Scheme, which was initially conceived to power the gold dredges on the Waipori River, started generating electricity in 1907. Originally developed by the Waipori Falls Hydro-Electric Power Company, the scheme was purchased by the Dunedin City Council during its construction in 1904 for ₤31,000.

Over the following decades the Dunedin City Council oversaw further development of the hydro capacity of the Waipori River, until government electricity reforms saw the Council sell the scheme to TrustPower in 1998 for $70 million.

Today the scheme comprises a network of four dams and power stations and produces a maximum output of 84 MW.


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