Guatemala’s 11.7-MW Matanzas wins carbon credit approval

The United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) agency has approved an application by Guatemala’s 11.7-MW Matanzas hydroelectric project to sell carbon emissions credits.

The Executive Board of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change issued a registration May 14 for the run-of-river project, which includes a diversion dam with a small reservoir that collects flows from the Matanzas and San Isidro rivers in Baja Verapaz State.

Tecnoguat S.A., a subsidiary of ENEL Latin America, completed the project in 2002, producing an average of 46,000 MWh annually for sale to utility Instituto Nacional de Electricidad under a 17-year contract. CDM revenues will be part of the funds supporting activities to preserve the Matanzas River Basin and to construct a compensation reservoir at the Mantanzas tailrace canal, which will allow the use of on-peak water flows for sustainable irrigation activities downstream.

Matanzas annually offsets 38,493 metric tons of carbon emissions that otherwise would be produced by fossil fuel-fired power plants.

Tecnoguat and other companies owned by ENEL Latin America propose to register other nearby CDM activities in Guatemala including the 4-MW San Isidro project on the Matanzas River, the 44-MW El Canada project on the Samala River, and the 13-MW Montecristo project, also on the Samala River.

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