At the end of 2020, Ngawha Generation Limited (NGL) – a subsidiary of Top Energy – expanded the capacity of its Ngāwhā Geothermal Power Station by a further 31.5 Megawatts resulting in a total output of 57 Megawatts. Subject to a monitoring period to prove the sustainability of the geothermal resource, NGL’s resource consents provide for a second station to grow this to 88 Megawatts by 2025.

The $182 million expansion project was one of the largest construction projects to be undertaken in the Far North and improves the security and reliability of the power supply for the whole Northland region. The new power station means that Ngāwhā can export power south for most of the time, instead of importing it to the region from generation facilities in the Waikato.

The new power station, called OEC4, is located off Ngāwhā Springs Road on land to the north of the existing power station and the Ngāwhā Springs settlement.

The land it is built on is a mixture of flat to moderate to steep gradient terrain and includes areas of pasture, wetland, scrub, native bush and forest. Numerous watercourses feed into the Ngāwhā Stream. There is an abandoned mercury mine site of archaeological interest and a geothermal gully area known as the Hidden Walks within the site. These areas are not part of the project are not open to the public.

The image in the banner at the top of this page shows three production well heads after completion of drilling (mid 2019).