LAGO ATRAVESADO HYDROELECTRIC project in Southern Chile is nearly 75% complete, and operations are set to start in early May 2003.

The plant is being developed by the Chilean utility company Edelaysen at an approximate cost of US$14.5M. Initial work on the project began in July 2001, and the required Francis turbines are due to be assembled in September 2002 by French company Afelec.

The project uses the power potential of a 66m drop between the Atravesado and Elizalde lakes, from Lake Atravesado. The average flow from Atravesado is estimated to be about 11m3/sec annually. The lake’s waters will flow into a small lagoon and be directed through a 230m tunnel to the machines. The project does not involve building a dam, as the lake, a natural reservoir, provides the necessary storage. The outflow from the lake can generate up to 10.5MW and average annual energy production of some 50GWh. The power will be transmitted by two 23kV transmission lines, which will stretch 21km from the plant, at the mouth of the Atravesado Lake, to the substation in the city of Coyhaique.