Discovery at Ballester Dam encourages a plan to generate power

Discovery at Ballester Dam encourages a plan to generate power

The project faced by the Regional Water Administration (DPA) to install a hydroelectric power plant at Palestir Dam has gained new momentum after the discovery of a precision-built approximation channel for power generation, incorporating the original design of large irrigation works. In Alto Valle, it opened on 19.16.

The underground pipeline, the part of the intake that diverts the Neuquen River at the beginning of the main irrigation canal, runs about 20 meters parallel downstream, on the left bank.

It starts on schedule at two of the gates on the left, the ones that never opened.

The discovery was made by HCA Consultora SRL, which was contracted to carry out a pre-feasibility study, the conclusions of which were recently presented at a meeting on the same dam, with the help of the head of the Department of Political Affairs, Fernando Corretti, an auditor from the office and officials of the Energy Secretariat of Rio Negro and ERSE, the internal management body responsible for irrigation and hydropower generation.

Dam Gates CH.jpg

The grandmother generated remarkable enthusiasm, because, although they had data on her existence, they were not certain. And the vision of the future of the professionals who designed the building at the beginning of the last century was amazing not only because of the quality with which they used in its implementation.

“An amazing thing. We discovered it and it is flawless despite its many years of age. It is clear that these people knew very well what they were doing,” Gustavo Lopez, Director of Political Affairs, noted in a tone of bewilderment.

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He explained that one of the company’s most experienced employees – “Guardadic” – agreed with the good condition in which they found the complex, and added that they had gone through it, finding it in perfect condition and nothing irregular, except for some. garbage.

The end point of the pipeline was marked with a well located near which the plant must be built with a hydraulic turbine system, in an intra-oceanic sector of the DPA. A few hundred meters below it, the water will drain back into the river.

Lopez said the result strengthens the energy project, but he made clear that a key step is missing, which is obtaining funding to carry out the work, estimated at $4.5 million. This will be the next major step to take.

Hope for the Renovar Program launched by the national government in 2015, which grants tax and financial benefits with the aim of boosting electricity generation from the use of renewable sources, such as wind, solar, biogas and small water uses, as in this case.

Irrigation Canal Gates 3 CH.jpg

small exploits

The projected plant capacity in the dam will be 0.7 MW, which is a low volume compared to the Blanesi Banderetta, which generates 460 MW or El Chocon, which comes to 1,200 MW. For this reason it is considered a “small use”. In any case, estimate the contribution you will make over time, and above all, much of the required structure has already been built and cannot be changed since 1916.

Lopez added that DPA has other, smaller energy plans working with the Department of Energy. For each case, they plan to develop a project at the Julián Romero plant in Cinco Saltos, installing generating turbines at the appropriate five waterfalls, and elsewhere between Allen and Guerrico.

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It all depends on the validity of the renewal and its benefits for this type of business.

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