$1.4 billion power project ready to go into service

The $1.4 billion Reventazón hydro project is expected to go on line next week and begin providing power to the national grid.

The project eight kilometers southeast of Siquirres de Limón has the largest dam in Central America with a height of 130 meters or 430 feet which creates an 8-kilometer long lake.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said Wednesday that the power project has completed final tests with the national grid and that initially one of four turbines will provide 73 megawatts of power. The capacity is estimated at 305.5 megawatts. The power

company said that this is enough for 125,000 homes and 2 million persons. The project takes water for the Río Reventazón via a  4.2-kilometer tunnel. That’s about 2.6 miles.

Construction began in April 2010. The project is not without controversy.

Environmentalists say the use of river water might damage the passage of migratory fish, and the project also has been accused of severing a wildlife corridor.

Residents in the area also have complained about shifts in the ground due to the weight of the water accumulated in the reservoir. The company has agreed to make infrastructure investments in 15 communities.

The Reventazón dam and the artificial lake it has created.

The Reventazón dam and the artificial lake it has created.

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