New Zealand’s largest concrete gravity dam

Constructed from one million metres of concrete, the Clyde Power Station is New Zealand’s largest concrete gravity dam. It is located on the Clutha River near the town of Clyde in Central Otago. Together, the dam and river form one of the world’s most unique waterways and hydro-powered dams.

Contributing significantly towards New Zealand’s eco-leading efforts, hydro-power stations are part of the 85% of total energy generated from renewable outlets and one of the many reasons we are proud to have been involved with the Clyde Power Station.

The Clyde Dam, is New Zealand’s third largest dam. It sits at 100m high with a base width of 70m. Its width at crest is 10m and length at crest, 490m. It inundates the gorge between Clyde and Cromwell.

The Clyde Dam Hydro Electric Power Station has an installed capacity of 464 MW of power from four turbine generators; producing enough electricity to power around 240,000 homes each year.
Approximately 6% of New Zealand’s electricity.

WSP Opus (previous the Ministry of Works and Development), were lead structural designers for the Clyde Dam Power Station. Commissioned in 1973 by the Clutha Valley Development Commission, a Government organised committee.

We were responsible for the design, construction and management of the project, from proposal to completion in 1993.

In total, over 1220 people worked on the Clyde Dam Hydro Electric Power Station during the design and construction stages until it was officially opened on the 23rd of April 1994.

The power station was acquired by Contact Energy in 1996. WSP Opus currently provides services to Contact Energy for the Clyde Power Station including deformation surveys, Building Warrant of Fitness, geotechnical, hydrometric database management, hydraulic analysis, sedimentation and backwater studies.

Our work for the Hydropower industry has allowed us to provide a depth of information on small and large-scale hydro generation for local governments and energy providers to power New Zealand towards a greener, safer future.

¹ Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. (2017). Energy in New Zealand 2016 CALENDAR YEAR EDITION E. Available: Last accessed 07.2018.