- Macho de Monte hydraulic power plant
- La Yeguada hydraulic power plant
- Los Algarrobos hydraulic power plant
- Dolega hydraulic power plant
Macho de Monte hydraulic power plant
The Macho de Monte hydraulic power plant was the first to be built in the country, in 1937. It is situated in the town of Cuesta de Piedra, in the district of Bugaba.
In 2001, the power plant underwent a repowering process to obtain greater performance from the hydraulic jump at the facility. The project consisted of building a new powerhouse 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 kW. The operation of turbines was also automated. Like Dolega, this plant is controlled from the Generation Control Centre (GCC) via VSAT.
It is a run-of-river plant with a diversion channel and settler tank; it takes water from the Macho de Monte river along an open channel to the intake chamber that feeds the penstock leading to the powerhouse with a net jump of 71.8 metres. Finally, the water is discharged back into the river.
La Yeguada hydraulic power plant
La Yeguada stands out for its hydraulic performance, with an installed capacity of 8.15 MW It comprises two reservoirs, one natural — La Yeguada — and the other artificial — El Flor.
The main intake for the power plant comes from the San Juan river and the El Hato gorge at intake and discharge elevations of 660 and 268, respectively.
By means of a dam and a channel, the waters of the San Juan river are diverted to the natural reservoir of La Yeguada. The original level of the reservoir was raised to 644 m.a.s.l. with the construction of two dams. 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 an installed capacity of 0.85 MW (1 horizontal Francis unit). The turbinated water from this plant is discharged over the El Caballo 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 an installed capacity of 6 MW (two 3 MW Pelton units).
Los Algarrobos hydraulic power plant
The Los Algarrobos hydropower plant is located in the province of Chiriquí (Panama) and was opened in 2010.
The project consists of a run-of-river hydropower plant that uses the entire flow from the Algarrobos gorge and the Casita de Piedra river, discharging into the Chiriquí river.
The projects contains three intake works:
- First branch of the Algarrobos gorge
- Second branch of the Algarrobos gorge
- and the Casita de Piedra river
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 powerhouse and two Pelton-type 4.87 MW turbines.
Dolega hydraulic power plant
The Dolega Power Plant is run-of-river and uses waters from the Cochea river through a diversion dam and an intake. The water is directed through a 3.6 km long channel to two loading chambers, then to the penstocks and finally to the units in the powerhouse.
In 2001, the power plant underwent a series of repowering and automation upgrades. The project consisted of building a new powerhouse 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, which is used to control operations 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 the aim of complying with the Kyoto Protocol of which Panama is a signatory.