La Confluencia hydro plant
La Confluencia is one of two hydro power plants resulting from a 50/50 joint venture formed in 2004 by Pacific Hydro and Norwegian developer Statkraft to build, own and operate run-of-river hydro power plants in the Tinguiririca Valley, approximately 150km south of Santiago.
Opened on October 2010 by Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, La Confluencia and La Higuera were the first run-of- river hydro power plants with an installed capacity of over 100 MW inaugurated in Chile since 2000.
Using the natural flow of the Tinguiririca River to generate renewable energy, La Confluencia has an installed capacity of 157 MW, enough to supply in excess of 461,360 Chilean homes. Its operations abate approximately 411,510 tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution every year, the equivalent to taking more than 125,000 vehicles off the road.
Clean energy generated at La Confluencia is supplied to Chile’s central grid under a long term Power Purchase Agreement with Chilectra, the largest electricity distributor in the country.
From development through to operation, La Confluencia has been helping to meet Chile’s increasing demand for electricity, without increasing emissions, and contributing to the country’s economic growth and to the sustainable development of the local communities.
More than 4,000 people were employed during construction of La Confluencia and La Higuera and, since 2007, a community fund – Tinguiririca Participa – has been created. To date, the fund has benefited over 150 projects proposed, developed and implemented by the inhabitants of the surrounding communities, improving the quality of life of more than six thousand people living in the Tinguiririca Valley.
In 2011, La Confluencia was successfully registered under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to issue and trade in carbon credits. Its CDM registration allows the creation of around 425,000 carbon credits annually, which can be traded on international carbon markets.