Power Generation

Central Otago is and will remain one of New Zealand’s main areas for sustainable energy production.

At the time of its commissioning in the 1950’s, the Roxburgh high dam was the largest in the country.  While it was overtaken by the large earth and concrete dams of the Waitaki scheme later in that decade and into the early ‘60’s it remained the template for large scale power generation in New Zealand.  This reached its apex in the late 1980’s with the construction of the Clyde dam, the largest concrete dam in New Zealand.  This in turn led to the creation and filling of Lake Dunstan and the moving of Cromwell town to a new location.

With the change in public attitudes and the introduction of the Resource Management Act (RMA), which allows for affected parties to be heard, projects of this size and complexity have become more difficult to contemplate.  Central Otago casualties include the proposed Project Hayes wind farm on the Rock and Pillar Range in the Maniototo and investigation of other hydro dam options along the Clyde and other local rivers. 

In addition to the two large dams on the Clyde River it is worth pointing out that there are a network of smaller hydro stations dotted throughout Central Otago in such places as Paerau and East Roxburgh. These tend to be out of the public eye, but are an important part of the local landscape. There is no doubt that electricity generation is an important component of the Central Otago economy.
Business Directory
Business Groups & Organisations
There are a range of business groups and organisations in Central Otago for networking, advice and business support. Find out details of when and where they meet and how you can contact them. Read More

Economic Development Strategy
The Economic Development strategy’s key purpose is to help the Central Otago community focus on issues that impact on our economic and social well-being, and to suggest some of the actions we can take over the next few years to address them. Read More
Our Regional Identity - A World of Difference
Our Regional Identity - A World of Difference 'A World of Difference' defines what is uniquely Central Otago as a place and a community. Read More

Central Otago NZ - Through Local Eyes
Central Otago NZ - Through Local Eyes Meet some unique and passionate Central Otago locals and be introduced to their favourite places and activities. Read More

Food & Wine
Food & Wine Central Otago is a place of sheer indulgence – whether it’s fine dining, a casual al-fresco lunch or café culture. You will be spoilt for choice when enjoying local fare and award winning wines at the great selection of cafés, restaurants, cellar doors and country pubs. Read More
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