Upgrading and extending plant operating life for the next thirty years to meet market demand in a changing environment with increasing share of non-conventional renewable energy
Located along the Uruguay and Argentina border, the Salto Grande Project provides more than 50 percent of Uruguay’s total energy needs—recognizing the regional significance of this project, the Inter-American Development Bank provided funding to upgrade studies in 2014. To complete this upgrade, we worked with a local consulting company who participated in the original design and construction of the project.
The original project was completed in 1979 and was comprised of 14 units each equipped with Kaplan turbines that have a generating capacity of 135 MWh each. The installed capacity for the project currently peaks out at 1890 MW with an average annual output of 8,502 GWh—the upgrade will enable the project to be modernized and increase the overall energy output of the plant.
Our team performed a diagnosis phase that resulted in an investigation of alternatives to the current designs. We evaluated modernizations that include replacing current units with more efficient and powerful ones, as well as installing bulb-style turbines to capture additional water flows. The result is a program that considers the diagnostics performed during the initial phase, combined with the best cost alternative. The program also considers the schedule for tasks to be completed and the costs savings from each task for its implementation, as part of a strategic plan for restoration.
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