• Costa Rica Real Estate

Reventazón, Central America’s biggest hydroelectric project, goes online

March 31, 2016

Central America’s largest hydroelectric project is officially online. After six years of construction, the first of the Reventazón dam’s five turbines was synchronized and expected to be connected to Costa Rica’s national power grid this week, according to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).

The first turbine has the capacity to power roughly 125,000 homes with its 73 megawatts. When the Revantazón project is fully operational before the end of 2016 it will have a generating capacity of 305.5 MW, enough for an estimated 525,000 homes.

After the Panama Canal, the Reventazón hydroelectric project in the Caribbean community of Siquirres is the largest public infrastructure project in Central America to date. The 130-meter-high dam that feeds the project contains 9 million cubic meters of material and will handle up to 118 million cubic meters of water from the Reventazón River.

Even before the Reventazón dam came online, Costa Rica’s energy matrix has become highly dependent on hydropower, allowing it to minimize its use of fossil fuels for electricity. In 2015, 99 percent of the country’s electricity demand was generated using renewable sources. Hydropower provides more than 70 percent of Costa Rica’s energy needs, according to ICE.

Despite Costa Rica’s enthusiasm for hydropower, the government has taken steps to protect some rivers. President Luis Guillermo Solís signed a 25-year moratorium in 2015 protecting the Pacuare and Savegre Rivers from damming. Both rivers are famous for their world-class rapids and are mainstays of the tourism industry.

But that doesn’t mean the government isn’t looking to build more dams. As the Reventazón project nears full operation, another, even bigger hydroelectric dam has been proposed near Buenos Aires in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone. The Diquís project has been in limbo for years because of a dispute between ICE and local indigenous groups who say they have never consented to the massive dam. But if it ever gets off the ground, El Diquís would have more than twice the generating capacity as the Reventazón, some 652 MW, according to ICE.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Experts urge action to reduce inequalities of black Latin American population
Costa Rica
17 views
Costa Rica
17 views

Experts urge action to reduce inequalities of black Latin American population

AFP and The Tico Times - October 15, 2019

Latin American authorities and specialists urged Tuesday in Costa Rica for countries to adopt strategies to eliminate the inequalities that…

Watch: Police chase interrupts video crew filming in San José
Costa Rica
179 views
Costa Rica
179 views

Watch: Police chase interrupts video crew filming in San José

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 15, 2019

A video shot at Costa Rica's Parque de la Democracia in San José has gone viral. If you haven't watched…

What’s the difference between a green alert and a yellow alert in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica
143 views
Costa Rica
143 views

What’s the difference between a green alert and a yellow alert in Costa Rica?

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 15, 2019

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) in Costa Rica frequently issues green and yellow alerts for parts or all of the…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!