Welcome to the Marlborough Lines Diesel Station

This building was constructed in the 1930s to house the diesel powered generating plant and today remains as a monument to those who operated and maintained the station to supply electrical energy to the consumers of Marlborough. Today the building and its contents are substantially the same as originally constructed and equipped.

Short History of Electrical Supply by Marlborough Lines

The Marlborough Electric Power Board was formed in 1923 and immediately commenced construction of a 1000kw hydro station at Waihopai and electrical reticulation to Renwick, Blenheim, Havelock and Seddon. The system was officially livened in August 1927.

By late 1929 a shortfall in generation led to the installation of the first diesel generator set being erected in the western half of the building. A second diesel generator set and its associated control gear was installed in 1937 in the eastern addition to the building.

These two engines and Waihopai Power Station supplied Marlborough until a new supply from the Cobb Power Station in Nelson was attained in 1948, however daily running of the engines continued until a supply from the national grid was provided in 1958.

An attempt to sell the diesel generation plant in the late 1950s was unsuccessful and consequently they were retained and utilised for peak load reduction. On 22 June 1992 the engines generated from 8:00am to 5:00pm during the energy crisis of that year. It was to be the last time the plant was used for generating purposes. On 30 July 2003 the plant was disconnected from the electrical reticulation and is run now for only short periods of times for demonstration purposes.

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