El Salvador seeks carbon credit approval for two hydro projects

El Salvador utility Comision Ejecutiva Hidroelectrica del Rio Lempa (CEL) has begun steps to win approval from the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) agency to sell carbon emissions credits from two hydroelectric projects.

CEL said project design documents for the CDM applications are at an advanced stage for its 67-MW El Chaparral hydroelectric project and for the addition of a 600-kW replacement micro-hydro unit at the 99.4-MW Cinco de Noviembre hydroelectric project on the Rio Lempa.

CEL last year recruited carbon trading consultants to help register the hydro projects for carbon credit trading with the Executive Board of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The utility recently restarted bidding for turnkey construction of El Chaparral hydroelectric project on the Torola River upstream of its confluence with the San Juan River. Bids are due April 30. (HNN 1/22/08)

CEL also completed a modernization program in 2007 that increased Cinco de Noviembre’s capacity to 99.4 MW from 81 MW. (HNN 6/26/07)

The hydro operator said El Chaparral would avoid emissions of 144,820 tons of carbon dioxide per year. It said the micro-hydro unit at Cinco de Noviembre, which replaces a defunct unit originally installed in 1954, would displace about 2,223 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

CEL estimated the carbon emissions reductions could be marketed at an estimated value of US$1.3 million annually.

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