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Aratiatia Power Station facts for kids

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Aratiatia Rapids with opened spill gates.jpg
Aratiatia Rapids with opened spill gates
Country New Zealand
Location near Taupo
Coordinates 38°36′57″S 176°8′33″E / 38.61583°S 176.14250°E / -38.61583; 176.14250
Status Operational
Opening date 1964
Owner(s) Mercury Energy
Dam and spillways
Impounds Waikato River
Surface area 55 ha (140-acre)
Power station
Operator(s) Mercury Energy
Type Run-of-the-river
Turbines 3× Francis
Installed capacity 78 MW (105,000 hp)
Annual generation 331 GWh (1,190 TJ)

Aratiatia Power Station is a hydroelectric power station on the Waikato River, in the North Island of New Zealand. It is the first hydroelectric power station on the Waikato River, and is located 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) downstream of Lake Taupo. Aratiatia is owned and operated by Mercury Energy.

Aratiatia is a largely run-of-the-river station, as it generates electricity from water from the Lake Taupo control gates and to the Ohakuri Power Station. It does, however, have a 55-hectare (140-acre) lake behind the station for temporary storage.

The New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage gives a translation of "pegged ladder" for Aratiatia.

Aratiatia Rapids

Aratiatia Rapids ATLIB 312492
View of Aratiatia Rapids in 1928

Before construction of the dam and hydro station, the Aratiatia Rapids were a prominent feature on the Waikato River; a scenic reserve from 1906. The dam construction meant that no water flowed over the rapids. However, several times a day, the Aratiatia dam gates of the Waikato River are opened, which restores the rapids to their normal operation. There are several public lookout points on the high rock bluffs that dominate this turbulent stretch of Aratiatia Rapids.

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