Hydroelectric Plants in Panama

Baitun
Location: Chiriqui
Operator: Ideal - Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en America Latina
Configuration: 2 X 42.5 MW Francis
Operation: 2012
T/G supplier: Energomashexport, HMV Ingenieros Ltda
EPC: Aramos Hidro, Carso Infraestructura y Construccion
Quick facts: Baitun is on the Rio Chiriqui Viejo near Cañas Gordas, town in Renacimiento District. The run-of-river has an RCC dam with a centralized spillway, a 40ha reservoir, a 6.5km, 5.9m diameter horseshoe-shaped tunnel a 340m penstock 5.1 m in diameter bifurcating into two 3.7m diameter pipes at the powerhouse. Annual production is expected to be about 380 GWH. The design head is 131.4m.

Photograph courtesy of Ideal Panama
Posted 7 Jul 2012

Bajo de Mina
Location: Chiriqui
Operator: Ideal - Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en America Latina
Configuration: 2 X 28 MW Francis
Operation: 2011
T/G supplier: Energomashexport, HMV Ingenieros Ltda
EPC: Aramos Hidro, Carso Infraestructura y Construccion
Quick facts: This run-of-river project is on the Río Chiriqui Viejo in Renacimiento district, Plaza Caisán, not far from the Costa Rican border. It has a 30m, RCC gravity dam and connects to Progreso Substation with a 30km, 115kv single-circuit line. The project company is owned by Mexico's Carlos Slim and cost about $170mn. The Bajo de Mina project went commercial on 17 Oct 2011.

Photograph courtesy of Ideal Panama
Re-posted 7 Jul 2012

Concepcion
Location: Chiriqui
Operator: Istmus Hydro Power Corp
Configuration: 2 X 5 MW Francis
Operation: 2009
T/G supplier: Mavel, Alconza
EPC: Aramos Hidro, ABB
Quick facts: This run-of-river minihydro is on the Rio Pdera about 500km west of Panama City in the Rio Chico basin. Maximum gross head is 65m. The plant is connected to the Edechi grid and is expected to supply about 67 GWh/yr. This project has registered for CDM status.

Photograph courtesy of Mavel
Posted 21 Jun 2009

Edwin Fabrega
Location: Panama
Operator: EGE Fortuna
Configuration: 3 X 100 MW Pelton
Operation: 1983
T/G supplier: Kvaerner, BBC
EPC: Impregilo, Skansa, Acres, Aoki, Kvaerner
Quick facts: This is the largest and most important power plant in Panama located 65km north of Chiriqui in an area renowned for its heavy rainfall. The dam was completed in two stages, being raised from 60m to 98m in 1994 to increase storage and power output. The scheme was completed for IHRE at a cost of $532mn. In Dec 1998, a consortium of Coastal Corp, Hydro-Quebec International, and Quebec's Solidarity Fund won an $118.1mn bid to acquire a 49% share in EGE Fortuna. In Aug 2006, Enel acquired the Canadian share in the company, which is owned jointly with Globeleq. Annual output is about 1,450 GWh, some 40% of Panama's electricity requirement. The company cooperates with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution (STRI) in the operation of a 19,500ha montane forest research station above the dam.

Photograph courtesy of EGE Fortuna
Posted 17 Aug 2006

Gatun Dam
Location: Panama
Operator: ACP Division de Energia
Configuration: 3 X 3 MW, 3 X 4.5 MW Francis
Operation: 1914-??
T/G supplier: Allis Chalmers
Quick facts: Gatum Dam on the Rio Chagres is a key operational element of the Panama Canal complex impounding Gatun Lake, which in turn carries ships 33km as part of their transit across the Isthmus of Panama. At completion, the dam was the largest earth dam in the world, and Lake Gatun was the largest artificial lake in the world.

Photograph courtesy of canalmuseum.org
Posted 16 Apr 2008

Madden Dam
Location: Panama
Operator: ACP Division de Energia
Configuration: 3 X 12 MW Francis
Operation: 1935
T/G supplier: Allis Chalmers
EPC: US Bureau of Reclamation, Madden Dam Division
Quick facts: The first major capital improvement on the Panama Canal was the Madden Dam project on the Rio Chagres upstream of Gatun Lake. Madden Dam regulated downstream flows from a 16,000ac reservoir originally known as Lake Madden and now called Alajuela Lake. The main dam is 900ft long and rises 220ft from the foundation. The $10.6mn scheme was named after Martin B Madden, an Illinois Congressman and Chair of the House Appropriations Committee who had been instrumental in obtaining the needed funding.

Photograph by Pedro Aguilar (PBase)
Posted 16 Apr 2008

Abbreviations

Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 11-Jul-2012

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