Project Aqua was a plan to build a series of power stations on the lower Waitaki River generating 500MW, that was abandoned in 2004, mainly because it was not economic compared with coal and gas and wind generation. But what now? Especially if coal and gas generation is to be stopped? What if through declaring a climate-change emergency, this project could be expediated? It seems hypocritical to have local environmental objections to such a project at the expense of the global environment. Using the same argument, should the lake level restrictions on existing hydro lakes not be relaxed somewhat so that less coal is burnt during dry years? How much real storage is there in our lakes?
There was an interesting discussion on the pumped hydro idea in this forum earlier in the year, and it was apparent that there are a number of very knowledgable people on this site who might be able to give a little insight.