(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 14.Jun.2019) — The first phase of the joint development plan between Argentina and Uruguay to renovate the Salto Grande Bi-national Hydroelectric Complex will move forward with financing of $80 million from an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loan, Argentina’s Energy Secretariat said 14 June in an official statement.
The project will be implemented in three phases: the initial will be developed from 2019-2023 with financing from the $80 million IDB loan ($40 million for Argentina, and $40 million for Uruguay); while the second and last phases, which will last until 2049, will be developed from year 5 to year 30 with financing to be defined.
The modernization of the Salto Grande hydroelectric complex consists of a 30-year strategic plan to maintain and extend its useful life, production capacity, efficiency and safety with aim to guarantee efficiency of the interconnection between Argentina and Uruguay. The connection benefits millions of users by providing them with renewable energy, quality service and an efficient cost, the Energy Secretariat said.
The scope of the renovation consist of the following:
— modernization of the turbine speed regulators;
— renovation of the hydro-mechanical landfill systems and the structural reinforcement of the dump hatches;
— renovation of the complex’s lifting systems;
— modernization of auxiliary electrical systems and control systems;
— replacement of the main transformers and communication, control, protection and reactive compensation systems of the 500 kv transmission quadrilateral, among other upgrades.
The Salto Grande Technical Commission is a bi-national entity created to take advantage of the rapids of the Uruguay River in the area of Salto Grande. It consists of two powerhouses, one on the Argentine side and another on the Uruguayan side of the border, with a landfill in the middle of both. Each machine house contains 7 generating units, with a total of 14 units, 1,890 megawatts of total installed capacity and an average annual generation capacity of 8,546 GWh.
The Salto Grande Technical Commission is a key player in the frequency regulation of the interconnected system of Argentina and Uruguay and the administrator of 500 kv, which allows the flow of energy between the different energy markets and to the consumption centers of up to 2,000 MVA. The entity supplies almost 50% of the electric power consumed in Uruguay and 3% of the energy demanded in Argentina, the Energy Secretariat said.
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