Clyde Dam


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Clyde Dam
Clyde Dam
Clyde Dam from the east, looking west
Official name Clyde Dam
Impounds Clutha River
Creates Lake Dunstan
Locale Central Otago, Flag of New Zealand [[New Zealand|]]
Maintained by Contact Energy
Length 490m[1]
Height 100m (lowest point)
Width (at base) 70m (base) 10m (crest)
Construction began 1977
Opening date 1989 (generation commissioned 1992)

The Clyde Dam is New Zealand's third largest hydroelectric dam, and is built on the Clutha River, near the town of Clyde.

[edit] History

There was considerable controversy when the dam was planned as to whether it was needed, and because it would flood many houses and orchards upstream at Cromwell, as well as the scenic Cromwell Gorge, which was a highlight of the then young but growing New Zealand tourism industry. Construction would also require the closure of the Otago Central Railway beyond Clyde, though materials for the dam would provide significant traffic for the rest of the line, which was experiencing a drop in freight tonnage.

The dam was constructed, following the passing of enabling legislation, as part of Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon's Think Big projects of the late 1970s and early 1980s, creating Lake Dunstan. The power station has a capacity of four 120 MW francis turbines (for a total of 480MW), but is only allowed to run 432 MW due to resource consent conditions. The dam was built so that two further penstocks and turbines could be installed, but as of 2007 there are no plans to do so.

Clyde Dam under construction circa 1986
File:Clyde expansion.jpg
Expansion joint

During construction, the adjacent rock was discovered to be microfractured, because of an earthquake faultline. A large amount of slurry cement was pumped into the rock to stop water leaks. This additional work was one reason for a major project cost over-run, which made the dam the most expensive in New Zealand. The other areas of over-run were due to stabilisation of landslides in the Cromwell Gorge. There are over 18 km of tunnels throughout the gorge for draining purposes. Because of all this extra work it overran the budget by nearly an extra 50% and delayed the filling of Lake Dunstan by a few years.

[edit] References

  1. (1993) A Guide to Clyde Hydro Power Station. ECNZ. 

This article uses material from Wikipedia, "Clyde Dam"

[edit] External links

Clutha River edit
Source: Southern Alps
Flows into: Pacific Ocean
Administrative areas: Otago Region | Queenstown Lakes District | Central Otago District | Clutha District

Towns and settlements (upstream to downstream):
Wanaka | Albert Town | Luggate | Lowburn | Cromwell | Clyde | Alexandra | Roxburgh Hydro
Roxburgh | Teviot | Ettrick | Millers Flat | Beaumont | Tuapeka Mouth | Clydevale | Balclutha

Major tributaries (upstream to downstream by confluence):
Makarora River | Matukituki River | Cardrona River | Hawea River | Lindis River | Kawarau River
Manuherikia River | Teviot River | Tuapeka River | Pomahaka River | Waitahuna River

Lakes in catchment (upstream to downstream by location or tributary):
Lake Wanaka | Lake Hawea | Lake Dunstan | Lake Wakatipu | Lake Roxburgh | Lake Tuakitoto

Islands in catchment (upstream to downstream by location or tributary):
Harwich Island | Pigeon Island | Pig Island | Inch Clutha

Structures (upstream to downstream):
Old Cromwell Bridge | Clyde Dam | Roxburgh Dam | Balclutha Road Bridge

Longest New Zealand rivers: 1. Waikato 2. Clutha 3. Whanganui 4. Taieri 5. Rangitikei
6. Mataura 7. Waiau (Southland) 8. Clarence 9. Waitaki 10. Oreti


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