Best Practice Example

Costa Rica, Reventazón

An award-winning environmental, social and economically successful renewable energy development, Reventazón is the largest hydropower plant in Costa Rica. Today it is cleanly, sustainably and safely generating clean electricity for more than half a million of the country’s homes.

Costa Rica already generates 99% of its energy from renewable sources. By 2050, the Central American country plans to be completely CO2-neutral.

© Sandra - stock.adobe.com

In February 2019, the Final Acceptance Certificate (“Finiquito”) for the Reventazón main hydropower plant in Siquirres, Costa Rica, was mutually signed between Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) and ANDRITZ Hydro.

With an installed capacity of 321 MW, Reventazón is the largest hydropower plant not only in Costa Rica, but across the whole of Central America. The contract was awarded in October 2011 with a project execution timetable of five years. All five turbine-generating units, including a special ‘Ecological Unit’, began commercial operations in 2016. Since then, the project has allowed Costa Rica to largely achieve its target of generating 100% of its electricity from renewable energy resources.

ANDRITZ Hydro supplied the electro-mechanical equipment for the project. Consisting of four Francis turbines and main inlet valves, penstock butterfly valve, four generators, mechanical and electrical auxiliary equipment, control, excitation and protection systems, as well as a turnkey 15 MW Eco unit in a separate powerhouse, the project featured ANDRITZ Hydro teams from both Italy and Austria.

In May 2019, the IHA (International Hydropower Association) awarded the Reventazón hydropower plant with the Blue Planet Prize. Given to a hydropower project that demonstrates excellence across a range of social, environmental, technical and economic performance criteria, Reventazón and Costa Rica became the first Spanish-speaking nation to receive the prize and the second in Latin America, after Brazil.

"With the Blue Planet 2019 award, Costa Rica, in addition to being recognized for its natural wealth, is positioned as a global example for developers of clean and renewable energy.”

The Costa Rica News

On receiving the award, Irene Cañas Díaz, President of ICE, stated: “This is an important award for ICE, its staff and Costa Rica, and an excellent example from the public sector of a small Latin American country to the world that we can do better hydropower, which is more inclusive and environmentally sensitive.”

© IHA

Reventazón demonstrates that hydroelectric projects can make a significant contribution, not only to the generation of energy in a country, but also in the application of international best practices for the technical, environmental, and social management of works regarding renewable energy.

ANDRITZ Hydro is proud to be part of this project and to support the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Costa Rica’s national electricity company, which built, owns, and operates Reventazón.

The successful execution of the important Reventazón project again underlines ANDRITZ Hydro’s leading position in Costa Rican hydropower and strengthens our position for future projects with ICE across the entire Central American region.

ANDRITZ Hydro manufacturing team in Morelia, Mexico in front of the penstock valve for the Reventazón project. ANDRITZ Hydro teams from Austria and Italy supplied the electro-mechanical equipment for this outstanding award-winning project.

© ANDRITZ
© Wikipedia / World wide gifts

To Know:

Costa Rica – Central America’s Renewable Powerhouse
Hydropower is essential to the economic development of Costa Rica. Although the electrification rate of Costa Rica is about 99% and therefore is the highest in Central America, electricity demand is continuously increasing, currently estimated at 4% annually over the next decade.

 

Costa Rica has a total installed hydropower capacity of 2,328 MW, providing about 8,676 GWh / year according to data from 2017. This represents more than two thirds of the nation’s total power production. In 2017 and 2018, the country ran solely on renewables for more than 300 days, making it a forerunner in renewable development across not only Central America but worldwide.

To meet the needs of an expanding population, increased rural electrification and growing demand for power, further development of Costa Rica’s abundant hydropower resources is now being intensely promoted.

 

The country has drafted a detailed plan to decarbonize its economy by 2050, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN’s’ Sustainable Development Goals. In September 2019, the United Nations selected Costa Rica as its “Champion of the Earth” in the policy leadership category for its exemplary engagement against climate change.

TECHNICAL DATA

Total output:321 MW 
Scope:4 × 76.5 MW (Main) / 1 × 15 MW (Eco)
Head:130 m
Speed:300 rpm
Runner diameter:2,470 mm

Author: Luis Ricardo Barillas

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