Principal hydro projects to add 1.06GW by 2020

- Thursday, May 3, 2012

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Costa Rica's generation park will see the addition of 1.06GW hydro by 2020 from principal projects under construction and/or development, according to a presentation by state power company ICE head Teófilo de la Torre.

The projects are Reventazón (306MW), Toro III (46MW), Cachí (increase to 160MW from 100MW), Macho (20MW) and Diquís (630MW), the official told the president's environmental council.

Toro is the first in line to begin operations, with startup scheduled for February 2013, followed by Macho and Cachí in May and October 2014, Reventazón in December 2015 and Diquís penciled in for 2019-20.

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De la Torre highlight that although power demand growth has been flat in the last four years, consumption has increased 5% in January-March and is expected to remain at that level for the rest of the year.

He added the grid set a record maximum demand of 1.6GW on March 27; maximum demand last year also was set in March and reached 1.55GW, according to a separate ICE report.

Installed capacity at end-2011 hit 2.59GW, of which 65% was hydro, 21% thermo, 8% geothermal, 5% wind and 1% biomass, adds the report. ICE plants accounted for 77% of capacity, followed by IPPs (14%) and distributors (9%).

The company's 2012-24 generation expansion plan envisions installed capacity of 4.3GW at the end of the period, of which hydro will continue king with 72%, while thermo will represent 13%. Wind/biomass and geothermal will account for 8% and 7%.

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