Baixo Iguaçu: Iberdrola’s hydro power plant to supply electricity to one million Brazilians

Baixo Iguaçu

Iberdrola, through Brazilian subsidiary Neoenergia, recently inaugurated the Baixo Iguaçu hydroelectric power plant, The facility has an installed capacity of over 350 MW entailed an investment of €500 million.

A technological marvel

This power plant will supply electricity to one million Brazilians and its production will be equivalent to about 8% of the annual electricity demand of the state of Paraná.

Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galán said “we feel proud to contribute to the country’s economic and social development”. The executive assured that Iberdrola’s commitment will continue to grow.

"Only in the next five years will we invest around € 6.5 billion in new projects in Brazil to continue improving its electricity supply, and in this way, its competitiveness".

Social and environmental benefit

In addition, Galán highlighted the social and environmental involvement of the Baixo Iguaçu project: “This installation is a benefit for the Iguaçu Falls, since it will contribute to the maintenance of a minimum necessary flow. And to this must be added many other initiatives that have been promoted in health, education, infrastructure and public safety to preserve and promote the well-being of the region.”

Similarly, this new renewable infrastructure was built under the highest quality standards and respect for the environment. The impact associated to the construction of a power plant of this nature has been minimized as much as possible.

The water channel was practically not modified, given that of the 31 km2 of the plant's reservoir more than 20 km2 belong to the river itself. Also, thanks to the use of three Kaplan turbines, one of the most efficient on the market.

Furthermore, the necessary flooding area is significantly smaller than that of other hydroelectric plants of similar size. With this effort, Iberdrola demonstrates its commitment to contribute to lower emissions.

This clean and efficient technology allows moving toward the electrification of the economy and promoting the necessary transformation of the energy sector into a more sustainable one.

Baixo Iguaçu regulates the water flow of the Iguaçu falls

Another relevant contribution of the power plant is that it will have a determining role in regulating the flow of the Iguaçu falls. The waterfalls are part of the seven natural wonders of the world, visited by one and half million people each year.

The waterfalls, which are severely affected by the drought period, were reduced to small water streams in 2006. For its part, the National Electricity System Operator (ONS) concluded that these famous waterfalls will always have the minimum necessary flow thanks to the contribution of this hydroelectric facility.

More social and environmental benefits

But Baixo Iguaçu’s contributions go beyond this. Through the Baixo Iguaçu Corporate Consortium (CEBI) it has launched several programs to monitor, rescue, and preserve indigenous species in the plant’s surroundings. Similarly, it built a green corridor for animals.

Also in collaboration with CEBI, the plant signed several agreements with the surrounding municipalities to promote programs related to health, education, infrastructure, and public security.

On the other hand, the initiatives include the expansion of a public school and the construction of a new building for the military police.

During the work to obtain the plant’s Environmental License, workers discovered archeological sites dating back to nearly 6,000 B.C. The site’s greatest discovery is the cave art (150 engravings) it contains, never before seen in this area.

In view of this, the Vista Alta archeological site, as it was called, will be opened to the public and will be one of the few in the region to do so.

For more information, check Energía16

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