- Hydropower Plant, Los Algarrobos
- Hydropower Plant, La Yeguada
- Hydropower Plant, Macho de Monte
- Hydropower Plant, Dolega
Hydropower Plant in Los Algarrobos
The Los Algarrobos project is located in the province of Chiriquí (Panama) and was opened in 2010.
The project consists of a run-of-the-river hydropower plant that uses the entire flow from the Algarrobos gorge and the river Casita de Piedra, discharging into the river Chiriquí. The project contains three water intake facilities: Algarrobos Gorge branch one, Algarrobos Gorge branch two and River Casita de Piedra. The purpose of these facilities is to collect and then channel the water from the rivers to a common location (intake chamber), from where it is transported via a penstock to the machine room and two Pelton-type 4.87 MW turbines.
Hydropower Plant in La Yeguada
The La Yeguada Power Plant is significant because of the extent to which it harness the water. With an installed power capacity of 6.6 MW, it consists of two reservoirs: one natural (La Yeguada) and another artificial (El Flor).
The main intake for the power plant comes from the river San Juan and the El Hato gorge at intake and discharge elevations of 660 and 288, respectively. A dam and a canal take the water from the river San Juan to the La Yeguada natural reservoir; the construction of two dams raised the original level of the reservoir to 644 metres above sea level. Via an intake measuring 76×0.9m, the water from the La Laguna reservoir is taken through a steel pipe measuring 2,382 metres in length to the La Yeguadita Power Plant with a 0.6 MW installed capacity (1 horizontal Francis unit). The turbinated water from this plant is discharged over the El Hato gorge, which is the tributary leading to the El Flor reservoir.
The El Flor reservoir was formed by building an earth dam and two dykes at an elevation of 560 metres. The water flows from there via a 400-metre tunnel and 900-metre penstock to the La Yeguada Power Plant with a 6 MW installed capacity (two 3 MW Pelton units).
Hydropower Plant in Macho de Monte
In 2001, the power plant underwent a repoweringprocess to obtain greater performance from the head at the facility. The project consists of building a new machine room for two (2) new generators with horizontal axis Francis hydraulic turbines from Alstom, leaving the civil and hydraulic channel infrastructure unchanged. Each turbine has a capacity of 1,248 MW. Furthermore, turbine operation was automated. This power plant, like the Dolega Power Plant, is controlled from the Generation Control Centre (CCG) via VSAT.
It is a run-of-the-river plant with a diversion channel and settler tank; it takes water from the river Macho de Monte along an open channel to the intake chamber that feeds the penstock leading to the machine room with a net head of 71.8 metres. Finally, the water is discharged back into the river.
Hydropower Plant in Dolega
The Dolega Power Plant is a run-of-the-river facilitythat takes water from the river Cochea via a diversion dam and intake. The water is taken along a 3.6 km channel to two intake chambers and then the penstocks to finally reach the machine room units.
In 2001, the power plant underwent a series of repowering and automation upgrades. The project consisted of building a new machine room for three new generators with horizontal axis Francis hydraulic turbines from Alstom, maintaining the civil and hydraulic infrastructure unchanged. Each turbine has a capacity of 1,040 kW.
A control system was installed to automate unit operation, with which operation is controlled remotely from the Dolega Generation Control Centre) (CCGD). The Algarrobos and Macho de Monte Power Plants are also operated from this control centre.
Dolega was registered by the United Nations as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project, with a view to complying with the Kyoto Protocol of which Panama is a signatory.