Huntly, New Zealand

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Huntly Power Station on the western bank of the Waikato River
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Huntly Power Station on the western bank of the Waikato River

Huntly (population 7,067) is a town in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is situated 93 kilometres south of Auckland and 35 kilometres north of Hamilton.

Huntly was originally known as Rahuipokeka and was founded some time in the 1850s.

It is situated on State Highway 1 and straddles the Waikato River.

Major Industries

The town is most notably known for its massive power station, situated on the western bank of the Waikato River.

Huntly Power station is the largest thermal power station in New Zealand. It has 4 independent units that can burn coal or natural gas. Each unit is capable of generating 250 Megawatts (MW) of electricity giving the station a total generating capacity of 1000 Megawatts. Its chimneys are 150 metres high and each chimney has two flues that are 7 metres in diameter.

The station uses river water for cooling, however because of restrictions imposed by its Resource Consent (see Resource Management Act) which specifies the quantity of water that can be removed by the station, and the maximum temperature of the water that is returned to the river in order to protect aquatic life, on very hot summer days the station cannot operate at maximum capacity. To overcome this problem, a cooling tower is being built as part of expansion work at the site.

Genesis Energy, the operator of the station, is presently constructing a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant next to the existing station. This plant will increase the total generating capacity of Huntly to 1385MW and is expected to come on-line in late 2006.


Huntly coal mine is New Zealand's largest producer of coal, producing over 10,000 tonnes a day, the vast majority of which is consumed by the power station.

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