Changuinola I reservoir filled
PANAMA - The reservoir filling stage concluded, allowing to move forward with the preparations for the central’s operations and add 223 megawatts of renewable energy to the system.
The reservoir at the Changuinola river has reached 165 meters above sea level, the level expected to announce that the Changuinola I central finished the reservoir filling stage and moves forward to the filling of the tunnel in order to begin trials. Once these trials finish, operations will begin to provide 223 megawatts of clean energy to Panama.
As previously communicated to the neighboring communities about the activities performed, AES Changuinola informed today that once the reservoir reached 165 masl, a natural flow of water will be visible above the dam’s spillway. With this flow of water, which will increase slowly and progressively, the Changuinola river will recover its usual flow and behavior.
“This is a natural, necessary process, in which due safety measures have been taken, since communities will observe with the progression of time how the Changuinola river maintains its normal flow”, said Jorge Azcarraga, general manager of AES Changuinola
The natural water flow above the dam’s spillway, which this time will last about two months, will change once the new Changuinola I hydroelectric central begins operations. This phase is a favorable opportunity to show how the Changuinola I central works, since these natural flows will occur depending on the intensity of the rains in the Changuinola river basin. The dam for the Changuinola I central does not work with a floodgate system since it was designed and built as a natural spillway dam, allowing water to flow naturally above the dam, similar to other dams in the country.
The reservoir filling process began a month before, for which social and environmental measures were implemented, with the active participation of the nearby communities in the rescue and relocation of aquatic life, as well as the recovery of floating vegetation in order to guarantee the safe navigation within this reservoir. The communities that lived within the reservoir area are already resettled in communities built by AES Changuinola; at a short distance from their previous homes and in common agreement with the residents of this area.
In the social aspect, several activities were developed, including the construction and improvement of rural aqueducts for 14 communities downstream the dam.
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