Peru commissions hydro plant

The 130-MW Yuncán  hydroelectric plant (Figure 4) has come online in Peru about 210 miles northeast of Lima. To show his support for the project, Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo Manrique attended the inauguration ceremony. Yuncán  was commissioned just 21 months after the Peruvian government awarded a 30-year contract to operate the plant to EnerSur, the Lima-based subsidiary of Brussels-based Suez Energy International. Peru’s state-owned utility, Egecen S.A., built the facility.

 
Courtesy: Suez Energy International

4. Peru’s new power plant. The 130-MW Yuncán hydroelectric power plant high in the Peruvian Andes is the country’s newest generator.

Yuncán , which is powered by the Paucartambo and Huachon Rivers, has a catchment area of about 500 square miles and a 678,000-square-foot reservoir. The plant has two intake dams (one floating and one concrete-gravity) and an 18-mile waterway. The control center, which also houses three 44.5-MW generators from Toshiba, is underground. But Paris-based Alstom installed the generators and other electrical equipment. VA Tech Escher Wyss (Ravensburg, Germany) supplied the plant’s three vertical-shaft, single-runner, four-nozzle, Pelton turbines, along with the injector pipes and protection. As part of the project, 30 miles of new 220-kV transmission lines and several substations were built between Yuncán and Carhuamayo to connect to the national grid.

The plant, which cost about $260 million, was financed by a loan (from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation) and local funders. Peru is barely self-sufficient in electricity production, generating 21.7 million MWh annually while consuming 20.2 million MWh. Roughly half of the country’s installed capacity of 6 GW comes from hydro stations, with the rest provided by oil- and diesel-fired plants.

Most of Peru’s generating capacity links to the national grid SEIN; the remainder is owned by self-producers. The country is one of five member countries of the Andean Community, a group that is moving toward a European Union–style single market. One of the aims of the Andean Community is to integrate electricity markets. Peru has been integrating its power grid with those of Colombia and Ecuador.