Clearwater Hydro is constantly on the lookout for new low impact hydro generation sites, and we know that there are numerous sites with good potential within the North Island of New Zealand. If you have a stream or river running through your property, it could have the potential to earn you some passive income.

The key to a good hydro site is linked to the following:

  1. The flow in the stream / river, which is measured in cubic metres per second (cumecs). One cumec of flow is equivalent to filling five 44 gallon drums every second.
  2. The vertical height difference (in metres) between the intake location and the generator location (known as 'head'). Water travels between the intake and the generator via penstocks (pipes), which can vary in length up to 4km. Where practical and feasible, we bury penstocks to minimise the impact on farming operations.

As a guide, if you multiply the flow of water (in cumecs) by the 'head' (see above), and multiply that by 9, you will get a rough estimate of the generation potential in kilowatts (kW).

For example:

  • Flow = 0.5 cumecs
  • Head = 140 metres
  • Generation Potential = 0.5 x 140 x 9 = 630kW
  • Flow = 2 cumecs
  • Head = 90 metres
  • Generation Potential = 2 x 90 x 9 = 1620kW

Clearwater Hydro would be very interested to talk with any landowners who believe that the generation potential of the stream / river running through their property would exceed 500kW. Our team would be more than happy to investigate your property should you think that you have a workable opportunity for us. We also invite landowner participation in schemes, including equity, so why not contact us to find out more.

See our Information page for further details on our generation schemes. There is also a useful fact sheet on small scale hydro contained on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) website.

Project in Matawai
Project in Matawai
Project in Matawai
Project in Matawai