An Ashburton community-based group has obtained consents to take water from the Rakaia River to generate electricity.
The Rakaia Terrace hydro scheme proposes to take up to 40 cubic metres of water per second from Highbank and discharge it at Barrhill.
The Ashburton Community Water Trust jointly applied for 40 cumecs of water from the river with the Central Plains Water Trust, although the proposed intakes are at different locations on opposite sides of the river.
The Ashburton project would be able to use the water outside the irrigation season, whereas there would be more restrictions placed on Central Plains.
The Ashburton project is also able to continue regardless of whether Central Plains gets the go-ahead.