New Zealand's TrustPower working on new small hydro project

HAWKES BAY, New Zealand 2/8/12 (PennWell) -- New Zealand utility TrustPower has announced a new 3.8-MW hydropower generating plant, sources report.

The scheme, to be known as Esk Hydro, will consist of two separate hydroelectric stations that draw on separate tributaries of the Esk River.

The project is expected to cost about US$13 million dollars and be in operation by June 2013.

The Esk Hydro plan is TrustPower's first-generation project in the Hawkes Bay area, although the project was initiated nearly a decade ago by the owners of the land on which the facilities will be built. TrustPower acquired the rights to the project more than five years ago.

The plan doesn't call for the construction of any dams, and sources say the power will be generated by Pelton turbines with expected annual outputs of 15 GWh.

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