The Executive Hydroelectric Commission of the Lempa River (CEL) is carrying out the repair of the discharge channel ramp of two turbines of the 15 de Septiembre Hydroelectric Power Plant, which had not been remodeled since its construction. According to CEL, the project is being executed with an investment of $11 million from its own funds. Both the construction and supervision of these projects are being carried out by local companies.
The project has been authorized by the Transaction Unit since it involves closing and drying the discharge channel, which is expected to result in a decrease in hydroelectric energy generation during April. To maintain the flow during this time of year, water will be transferred from the reservoir through four of the eight spillway gates in a controlled and continuous manner, to keep the downstream ecosystem unchanged, as stated by CEL in a press release.
Furthermore, CEL noted that the works will provide greater stability to the slope, ensuring the safety of the dam. Due to the continuous operation over the years, the concrete slab has deteriorated, forming a hollow beneath it that endangers the water exit structure. If not repaired preventively, it could cause the forced shutdown of the power plant and other damages.
The repair of the discharge channel will be carried out by placing dozens of cubic meters of non-washed concrete fill in the hollow that has formed beneath the slab of the channel.
Meanwhile, during the works in the riverbed, major maintenance will be carried out on Unit 1 in the power plant’s engine room, which includes preventive maintenance on the main equipment such as the generator, turbine, excitation, speed regulator, power transformer, water intake, and pumping systems, among others. During this time, a general inspection will be carried out on Unit 2 to plan for its maintenance.
In addition, CEL reported that it has begun maintenance on generator unit 7 of the expansion of the 5 de Noviembre Hydroelectric Power Plant. The works involve inspections on the turbines, motor system, electrical and hydrostatic tests on the water-oil exchangers, and cleaning of parts.
The investment made by CEL in the modernization of the Central Hidroeléctrica 15 de Septiembre demonstrates the commitment to provide efficient and safe energy to the country while contributing to the local economy by hiring local companies.