Five new private plants in 2015 to support clean generation in Costa Rica

Proyecto eólico Valle Central, ubicado en Pabellón de Santa Ana

In compliance with the Electricity Generation Expansion Plan, this year will see the commissioning of five new private capital, electricity generation plants: two hydroelectric plants and three wind farms. This involves five private projects that will contribute an additional 179 MW to the National Interconnected Electricity System, the equivalent of 6% installed capacity at national level.

This year the ICE, State Electricity Company, expects to pay private generators an additional US$60M (¢32Bn) for the purchase of electrical power compared to the US$117M (¢62.425Bn) in 2014. Currently the ICE generates 74.6% of the country’s electricity. This is followed by: Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (the National Power and Light Company) with 3.4%; the electric cooperatives and the utilities in Cartago and Heredia amount to 5.8% and private generators contribute 16.2%.

The new plants are as follows:

Tilawind (wind power). Situated in the district of Tilarán, it will be commissioned in February. This wind turbines complex has benefited from an investment of US$39M. Output: 20MW

Torito (hydropower). The hydroelectric plant of Torito will be launched in March. It is fed by the water course of the River Reventazón, close to the Angostura Generation Plant (owned by the ICE) in Turrialba. Angostura and Torito are interconnected by a cascade system that allows them to take advantage of the same flow. This project costs US$134M. Output: 50 MW.

Orosí (wind power). This will be commissioned in June. Situated in the district of Quebrada, Grande de Liberia, Guanacaste, it has an investment of US$133M. Output: 50 MW.

Chucas (hydropower). During the rainy season, Chucás will be able to make use of the waters of the River Tárcoles in Atenas, Alajuela, It is expected to officially start producing energy for the grid as from October. The cost of its construction amounts to US$108M. Output: 50 MW.

Vientos del Este (wind power). This is an extension to an existing plant that generates power from the winds of the high lands of Tilarán. It will be commissioned in December 2015 and involves an investment of US$24M. Output: 9 MW