Biggest Hydroelectric Plant of Central America is in Costa Rica


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    Once the Hydroelectric Plant started operating in 2016, Costa Rica became part of the select group of the countries in the pursuit of a 100% renewable energy consumption system. The project was initiated in 2010 and terminated last year.

    The plant optimizes the use of the natural resources, which at the same time, means energy supply from clean renewable resources. However, the weather plays an important role at the moment of utilizing sustainable energy. According to Luis Pacheco, Manager of the Electricity Department, it is sometimes necessary to turn to the thermal power plants to fix some problems.

    It’s not possible to ascertain if this project will eventually allow lower bills for people. So far, the experts assume that scenario is unlikely to happen due to the high cost of the maintenance and operation of the hydroelectric plant.

    “The consumer must understand that this type of project is very costly” – Pacheco says.

    Some facts

    • It’s historically the biggest construction of Costa Rica.
    • It’s the biggest hydroelectric plant of Central American.
    • It’s the second infrastructure facility of Central America, behind the Panama Canal.
    • It started to be constructed in 2010.
    • 29,000 tons of steel were required to finish this infrastructure work.
    • It is 130 meters high.
    • It comprises two sub-plants, one of which is located in Siquirres (Limon) and counts on a 73 Megawatt energy generating plant. The other one has an output of 13.5 MW and was installed in the ecological plant.
    • 434 kilos of rice were provided every day to feed the workers in charge of the project.
    • 3,000 liters of coffee were prepared on a daily basis for the coffee drinkers at the job site.
    • 300 women were engaged in the building of the plant. 89 of them worked in construction.
    • Hydropower generation capacity: 305.5 MW.
    • Cost of the hydroelectric plant: $1,379 million.
    • 760,000 cubic meters of concrete make up the plant.
    • 8,500 meters deep: the deepest excavation, equivalent to 72,000 wagons.

    Who constructed the plant?

    Welders, workmen, engineers, and technicians used to work different shifts for eleven days in a row. The construction area resembled a small city plenty of hardworking people during those 6 six years. This power plant, built by 4,300 workmen, architects, and engineers, provides electricity to 525,000 households, showing it’s been a total success.

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