Last Tuesday, December 4th, 2019, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Arenal Hydroelectric Plant in Tilarán Park. As part of the celebration, the ICE exhibits in the Municipality of this Guanacaste canton a historical sample with photographs, audiovisuals, objects, and information about the construction and operation of the Plant.

One of the towers during its construction

On December 9th, 1979, ICE inaugurated Arenal, the first of the 3 hydroelectric plants that make up the largest energy complex in Costa Rica. The project has transcended its socio-environmental management, its impulse to local development, and its contribution to boosting the national economy.

For its construction, it was necessary to relocate the villages of Arenal and Tronadora. This resettlement is considered one of the 3 most successful in the world in terms of hydroelectric developments.

“Arenal is strategic for our System and demonstrates our ability to efficiently support the country’s electrical needs. It turned Costa Rica into a world leader in renewable generation, contributes to the quality and stability of the service and provides a solid basis for the electrification of transport”, said Irene Cañas, executive president of ICE.

The Arenal reservoir -around 87 square kilometers- is the only one in the country that allows water storage during the rainy season for use in electricity production during the driest months of the year. Additionally, its scenic beauty has driven one of the most important tourist developments in the country.

After being used in electricity generation, Arenal water is used in agricultural activities through the Arenal – Tempisque Irrigation System. The commemoration concluded with the presentation of the Youth Symphony Orchestra, in the community parish. In addition, a charger for electric vehicles was inaugurated on the same day at the ICE Group Agency in Tilarán.