Hydroelectric reservoirs 0K, lakes low after first rains

Lake Gatun levels still below normal

 
520Views 6Comments Posted 16/05/2019

While the start of the rainy season  has helped  Panam’s Hydroelectric reservoirs recover, the lakes that provide drinking water to the community are still below par

Despite the drought, due to the El Niño phenomenon, there is enough capacity to meet the country's electricity needs with thermal plants, including the AES Colón natural gas.

There are more than 50 hydroelectric plants in the country, but most of them are run-off-the- river and do not have reservoirs.

The only ones that can store water in the reservoirs are Fortuna, Changuinola, and Bayano. Bayano, located on the Pacific slope, has suffered the greatest impact of the dry season. The current level is 53.9 meters, just three meters above a minimum of  50 meters.

Although hydroelectric generation is lower at the moment, there is enough capacity to meet the demand l using bunker, coal or natural gas.

The manager of AES Panama, Miguel Bolinaga, said that in recent months the gas plant has contributed 20% of the required energy to the system.

Gatun and Alajuela lakes, which supply water for human consumption of more than 50% of the country's population and for waterway operations,  Gatun until Wednesday afternoon was 1.70 meters below the normal level for the date, while the Alajuela  was  3.61 meters down, according to the Panama Canal Authority. It has rained in the basin, but only the Alajuela has shown recovery in its level.



Comments 6

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1 month ago
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eugenie

it is extremely shortsighted and old fashioned for Panama to be reliant on coal or natural gas, for electricity. the available amount of wind, solar, and wave power in the country, could provide ample, even excessive electricity, without ever burning anything. there is no country that has the luxury of ignoring their carbon footprint, but this one continues to persist in employing old technology while ignoring the available, far improved, newer and safer, alternatives.

1 month ago
The comments are the responsibility of each author who freely expresses his opinion and not that of Newsroom Panama.
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