The Fraser River, located 13km west of Alexandra, has a long association with irrigation and hydro-electric generation. The existing Fraser Power Scheme on the lower Fraser River, owned and operated by Pioneer Energy, generates approximately 20 GWh of electricity per year into the local distribution network.
The potential for further hydro generation development on the Fraser River, upstream of the Fraser Dam, was identified in the 1980s. The conceptual plan included an intake at the top of the high gradient section of river above the dam and a pipeline to return water to the river at the point where the river gradient reduces, near the confluence of the Rough Creek West. This original concept remains substantially unchanged and Pioneer has now completed all necessary development works to construct and operate a ‘run-of-river’ hydroelectricity scheme on the Upper Fraser and the scheme is now ready for construction. The completed scheme will consist of a 7.0 MWe power station and produce an estimated 31.1 GWh net annual average electricity generation.
Once constructed the Upper Fraser and Matiri schemes add another 12 MW and nominally 60 GWh of generation to the Pioneer Energy portfolio. Construction is planned to be completed over the next two years.