Chacayes, Jordan hydroelectric projects earn honors

A pair of hydroelectric projects were recently honored during the POWER-GEN International Projects of the Year awards gala, which was held in Orlando earlier this month.

Recognized as the Hydro Project of the Year was Chile’s 111-MW Chacayes hydroelectric project, with runner-up honors going to the 4.4-MW Jordan hydropower plant in North Carolina.

The Chacayes project is the result of a 2005 Pacific Hydro Chile (PHC) feasibility study, which resulted in a recommendation for six run-of-river plants in the Chachapoal River basin.

Hatch provided consulting services and prepared tender documents for an Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) contract for the project, which includes diversion weirs, a daily regulation pond, a desander, canals, tunnels and a surface powerhouse.

Chacayes was built under an EPC contract with Constructora Astaldi Fe Grande Cachapoal ltda — a consortium including Italy’s Astaldi SPa and Chile’s Fe Grande.

The US$450 million project included a number of challenges given its location in a seismically active region of Chile. Additionally, one of its two diversion intakes is located in a national reserve.

Energy produced by Chacayes is supplied to Chlectra under a long-term power-purchase agreement.

Meanwhile, the Jordan Hydroelectric Limited Partnership’s Jordan project demonstrates the potential for energy production at a previously untapped source.

Located at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-owned dam in Moncure, N.C., the project consists of two 2.2 MW vertical Kaplan turbines — each of which is located inside a 13-foot square by 100-foot-high steel box. These “modules” are installed on the upstream side of the dam’s discharge tower.

The modules were designed, fabricated and installed by Kleinschmidt and North Fork Electric Inc.

The first turbine became commercially operational in January, with the second coming online in July.

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