- The company has thus ratified its 2018 commitment to form part of the main organization for users of this major river basin for hydroelectric power in Chile, centered on integrated management of water resources for Bío-Bío Region.
- Between 2018 and 2020, hydroelectric power stations contributed a total of 58GWh of energy into the National Grid, 25% of it drawn from the Biobío River Basin, making this the country’s number one hydroelectric power resource.
In view of the country’s current water shortages, mainly resulting from the drought that has been affecting it for at least the past 10 years, river oversight boards are becoming ever more relevant and necessary in Chile, with goals that include managing and distributing the water resources over which their members hold usage rights within the applicable natural drainage basins. Aware of this need, Enel Generación Chile decided to take part in the creation of the Biobío River Basin Oversight Board (JVBB), with its participation starting at the first work meeting for the formation of the new board, involving a wide range of stakeholders, including the private sector and local civil society representatives.
With the signing of the Statutes of the Biobío River Basin Oversight Board (JVBB) by the parties that hold usage rights over the river basin’s water resources that have chosen to become founding members of the group, a major step has been achieved towards creating the board as a full legal entity; the second phase will consist of gathering together a greater number of statutory water users and encouraging them to subscribe to the Statute, such as to attain the absolute majority required by law, thus allowing the Statute to be registered with the General Water Department.
“We at Enel Generación Chile know that our work in Biobío Region is of great relevance for the country’s energy system, and we also understand the importance of ensuring that all of our operations are aligned with the interests of the local communities. Therefore, as part of our policy for ongoing, fluid, and transparent relations with our different interest groups, we have decided to make an active contribution to the creation of the Biobío River Basin Oversight Board, with the sole intention of protecting and maintaining the basin’s water resources, ensuring that they are equitably used by all stakeholders with water usage rights, and conserving them for the future”, stated Michele Siciliano, General Manager of Enel Generación Chile.
Completion of the first step towards forming this Oversight Board stands as a key milestone, as this is the country’s number one basin for hydroelectric power generation. Just between 2018 and the present date in 2020, water resources in the Biobío Basin have allowed 58GWh of hydroelectric power to be contributed to the National Grid, making up 25% of national hydroelectric power generation.
Enel Generación Chile operates the Ralco, Pangue, and Palmucho hydroelectric plants in the Biobío Basin, with a total installed capacity to deliver 1,190 MW to the National Grid.
The Ralco Dam is also an important item of safety infrastructure for the basin, as it has been declared a Control Dam under the terms of Law 20,304 on operation of dams during flood alerts, due to its capacity to act as a buffer when water levels in the Biobío River rise and downstream populations and infrastructure may be put at risk of flooding.