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Meridian gains consent for Pukaki hydropower project in New Zealand

Meridian Energy will proceed with developing its Pukaki small hydro project following a decision by authorities to issue resource consents for the hydropower project.

The proposal makes the most of an existing asset by utilizing the head between Lake Pukaki and the Pukaki-Ohau canal. The new small powerhouse would be located close to the existing canal inlet structure and will have the capability to generate up to 35 MW, Meridian said.

The consent was considered on a limited notification basis, and there were three submissions. The consenting authorities decided there was no need for a hearing.

Meridian has agreed to various mitigation measures through the consultation process with Fish & Game, Mackenzie District Council, the Department of Conservation, and the Benmore Irrigation Company.

Construction associated with the development of the new project will be contained entirely within the land around the gate and canal, already owned by Meridian.

In other news, Meridian Energy has completed the process of selling its Tekapo A and B hydro stations to Genesis Energy for about US$667 million, Meridian reported.

Upon receipt of proceeds from the previously-announced hydro plant sale Meridian paid a special dividend to the New Zealand government of more than US$420 million.

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