Cuervo Hydroelectric Power Plant


Energía Austral

Cost of works:

€ 670 million

Period of Activity:

2013 - 2014

The Cuervo Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP), together with Condor and Blanco Projects, is part of a complex of 3 projects for hydroelectric generation. These works are designed to satisfy the energy needs of heavy industry in Chile, especially mining, located in the north of the country. The Cuervo HPP is located near Lake Yulton, 45km-northwest of Puerto Aysen, in the region of Aysen in the Chilean Patagonia.

— Project Description:

The Cuervo HPP will have a total production capacity of approximately 640MW and will bring considerable environmental benefits to the country, including a potential annual reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) for the Chilean Central Interconnected System (SIC) by approximately 1.5 million tons. The reservoir will include two concrete dams, in correspondence of each branch of the Cuervo River. The works also include an 11km-long headrace tunnel towards the cavern hosting the powerhouse and a tailrace tunnel of 5km of length up to the Aysen fjord. The project benefits from the exploitation of the hydroelectric potential of the Cuervo River from the head of the lake Meullin to the Aysen fjord at sea level, passing from an altitude of 526m to about 0m.

— Description of Services:

Optimization of excavation methods by introducing mechanized excavation with TBM for both the headrace and tailrace tunnels. To make the comparisons of the alternatives identified using a multi-criteria approach and risk analysis was applied. The results resulted in changing the project layout, saving 3km of tunnel, with only marginal impacting on the energy requirements.

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