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Friday, May 8, 2009

Sky Watch @ Friday: Huntly Power Station

Skywatch@Friday

Huntly is 70km from Auckland.

The Huntly Power Station is the largest thermal power station in New Zealand and is located in the town of Huntly in the Waikato. 

The coal used in the older section of the power plant is imported to 50% from Indonesia, and to 50% mined in New Zealand. The gas for the newer turbines comes from the Maui gas field in the Taranaki.


The station uses water from the Waikato River for cooling. However, in order to protect aquatic life, conditions are imposed by its resource consent, specifying the quantity of water that can be removed by the station along with the maximum temperature of the water when returned to the river (25°C). These conditions mean that on very hot summer days the station cannot operate at maximum capacity, and has sometimes effectively been shut down. A new cooling tower has been built as part of expansion works at the site, which allows one 250 MW unit to run at full load even during such times.

I took this photo at a mid April dawn. The weather was exceptionally cold at 6 degrees. There was a lot of mist rising from the Waikato river.

3 comments:

Tarolino said...

Hi and thanks for commenting on my SWF post. Funny how powerplants worldwide look so similar. Were we have our summer cottage there's a coal operated plant on the opposite side of the bay. Not the prettiest of sights but nevertheless necessary.
I love the setting of this plant by the river and the sky is very pretty too.

ROSIDAH said...

Great shot and very interesting post! Have a great weekend, Ann :)

SeeThroughGreen said...

thats awesome about the concerns of returning water. I love how environmentally focused NZ seems to be. Its a breath of fresh air.
Here we have a pulp and paper mill sitting in the middle of out reversing falls and it is the ronchiest smell when you get it at the wrong time. Im not sure what their environment regulations are but I bet they suck. Nothing could smell that bad and be healthy.