Undertaking dam safety services to support safe water energy infrastructure
Sitting on the Clutha River and creating Lake Dunstan in Central Otago, the Clyde Dam is the largest concrete gravity dam in New Zealand. It can produce 432 MW of renewable hydropower. Lying across the Clutha River downstream, the Roxburgh Dam was constructed in the 1950s and has a generation capacity of 320 MW. As civil dam safety advisors, we’ve provided various dam safety support on these dams for our client, Contact Energy, for over a decade.
Because both dams have a high potential impact classification (PIC)—a system of classifying dams according to the incremental consequences of dam failure, so that appropriate dam safety criteria can be applied—our services have included intermediate dam safety reviews (IDSR). These reviews include detailed inspections, analysing surveillance data, and undertaking reporting aspects across dam safety management activities. Acting as a technical witness, we’ve supported our client’s resource consent application to operate their dams and reservoirs for another 35 years. We’ve also assisted with evidence when appeals were heard in the Environment Court.
Our support of Contact Energy’s dam safety management has helped them comply with resource consents—to meet the recommended dam safety guidelines outlined by the New Zealand Society on Large Dams and operate safe and efficient energy infrastructure.
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