Project overview

Aim of the project

A collaborative project aimed to improve water management and forecasting in South Island snow-fed catchments.

  • Status

Wegaw hydro optimisation project

South Island hydro generators Contact Energy, Meridian Energy and Genesis Energy have are involved in a collaborative research project, with the aim of improving their water management and forecasting in their South Island snow-fed catchments.

This opportunity has been made possible through Ara Ake’s partnership with Wegaw. Based in Morges, Switzerland, Wegaw uses satellite imagery and Machine Learning algorithms to enable energy companies to optimise their generation and trading to create a more sustainable and clean energy production. Wegaw's current products provide accurate information on snow and water resources based on earth observation data in near-real time in Europe, Canada and Oceania.

Wegaw will be providing satellite-based information on the snow-water content for three of New Zealand's biggest hydropower producers. This information is used in an effort to optimise the national hydropower production with the help of innovative technology combining geospatial insights and Artificial Intelligence.

Wegaw's forecasting can create an up to 10% electricity production increase and an up to 30% reduction of water spill. For seasonal water forecast, Wegaw’s products enable a reduction in error by 20 to 40% says Wegaw - Member of the World Alliance (

Wegaw initially established their technology to enable alpine tourism destinations and ski resorts to optimise their operations, through satellite data. They then progressed their technology to assist hydro generators with optimising their resources through remote sensing satellite data analytics and AI. They currently utilise 7+ European Space Agency and NASA satellites.