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Generation

We’re committed to a sustainable energy future for New Zealand. To us, this means balancing our commitment to renewable energy, while maintaining reliable access to energy for our customers. We’ve developed one of the most flexible generation fleets in New Zealand. Our geothermal, hydro and thermal plants have the country covered no matter what the weather is like.

Geothermal

Fluid from natural geothermal systems is brought to the surface by wells that vary in depth from a few hundred meters to 2.5km. At the surface this fluid is separated into two streams, one of steam and the other of water. The steam is used in a turbine to generate electricity and the hot geothermal water is either injected back into the ground or drained away. For more about Contact’s geothermal experience see Our Geothermal Advantage.

Hydro

Hydroelectric power plants convert the potential energy contained in water into electricity. The water is stored in lakes behind dams, and passed through turbines which harness the kinetic energy of water that is then converted into mechanical, and then electrical energy.

Thermal

Thermally generated power converts the chemical energy in fuels (gas or oil) to electricity. The main means of generating electricity from fossil fuels are conventional steam, gas turbine, combined cycle or cogeneration plants.

Gas Storage

Our Ahuroa gas storage facility consists of a near depleted gas reservoir, to which additional wells and compressors have been added. This enables gas to be injected into the reservoir during periods in which it is not needed. When needed the gas can be extracted from the reservoir and used in Contact’s gas-fired power stations.