The 73-MW Pucarà¡ Hydroelectric Power Plant, located in San José de Poaló, Ecuador, is once again delivering power to the National Interconnected System (SNI) as of Oct. 11, once the leaders of the surrounding communities left the machine house.
The facility was occupied Oct. 8, according to BNamericas.
The Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources reported that on Oct. 8, at 2:00 p.m., inhabitants of the communities in the area took over the Pucara plant. Once inside the facilities, they made orders that the Pucarà¡ Hydroelectric Power Station stop the generation of electricity and stop providing water for irrigation of crops.
It is not clear what the protestors were ultimately attempting to gain with this takeover, and no indication has been given as to why they left the hydro plant.
After the protestors left, and once a verification of the mechanical and electromechanical components was carried out, energy production was resumed. The plant was restarted with the delivery of 10 MW of capacity, as required by the National Electricity Operator (CENACE). The Pucarà¡ Hydroelectric Power Plant, which is operated by the Hidroagoyà¡n Business Unit of the Electric Corporation of Ecuador (CELEC EP), is still operating at 10 MW, which also solves the minimum flow necessary to supply the Pàllaro irrigation canal.
During the days that the demonstration lasted, 24-hour shifts were organized to protect the facilities. For security reasons, the facilities continue to be protected by the Armed Forces.