Seven new hydroelectric plants costing over $1 billion are in the final stages of construction and will begin operating before the end of the year, according to official sources.
Panama's current grid already has 682 MW of power available from hydroelectric generators at La Fortuna, Bayano, La Estrella, Los Valles, Macano, Concepción and Paso Ancho.
"The largest new generator is due to come on line on July 31 and is called Chan 75. It has been under construction by AES Panama since 2005 and will have capacity to produce 223 megawatts of electricity - 15% of the country's existing capacity," reports an article by Wilfredo Jordán for Prensa.com.
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A subsidiary of GDF Suez will start the construction of a 115 MW run-of-the river hydro project following an auction which took place on 9 Sep. 2008.
As a result of this auction, 100 MW have been sold to distribution companies for a period of 10 years, between 2013 and 2022. GDF SUEZ will provide 6,000 GWh for the length of this period.
The Colombian Celsia has purchased from GDF Suez thermal and renewable energy plants which were operated in Central America by the french company, worth $840 million.
From a statement posted on Celsia.com:
Celsia has taken the first step in its strategy of international expansion with the purchase of assets in the electricity sector in Panama and Costa Rica with an enterprise value of USD 840 million.
The state run power company is studying the feasibility of building a 150 MW hydroelectric project called Copalar Bajo with an Italian company and another 90 MW hydroelectric station called El Carmen.
With the aim of generating 563 MW of renewable energy by 2020, the Nicaraguan Electricity Company (Enel) has announced that it is carrying out feasibility studies to contribute to this projection about 240 MW of hydropower from the projects Copalar Bajo and El Carmen.
The award was given to the company Macano II Hydroelectric for the construction and operation of a 4.15 MW hydroelectric plant called RP-550, in the province of Chiriqui.
From a statement issued by the National Authority of Public Services:
"...FIRST: AWARD to the business HIDROELÉCTRICA MACANO II, S.A., registered in the Listing 833362, Document 2597272, of the Microfilm Section of the Public Commercial Registry of Panama, Rights to Concession for the construction and operation of the hydropower plant called RP- 550, which use the waters of the River Piedra, located in the village of Paraiso and Guayabal and district of Boqueron, Chiriqui Province, with an installed capacity of 4.15 MW. "