Hydroelectric power was first generated from an underground station in Lake Manapouri in the Fiordland
National Park of South Island, NZ, in 1969. Water discharged from the power station travels via two 10 km tunnels into a fiord on the Fiordland west coast. This station generates around 5400 GWh (billion Wh) of electricity annually, which is used almost exclusively for smelting aluminum at Tiwai Point on the southern coast of South Island. Original plans to raise the lake level by up to 30 m to increase power generation prompted a public campaign 'Save Manapouri' which highlighted the loss of pristine native forest, rare flora and beach subsidence, as well as identifying water hazards associated with the projected flooded forest. An initial controlled lake level 8.4 m above the natural mean level has subsequently been altered to maintain lake level within the natural range.
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