The Itaipu power plant reaches, this Wednesday (28th), around 10:30 PM (Brazilian time), a total of 2.6 billion megawatt-hour (MWh) of cumulative energy since the beginning of its operation, in May of 1984, also breaking another record: that of the most productive November in its history. It is the most significant cumulative production ever recorded by a hydroelectric power plant in all time. This is another mark that adds to so many others of the largest clean and renewable energy generator in the world.
The 2.6 billion MWh could illuminate the planet for 42 days; the United States, for 7.5 months; Brazil, for 5.5 years; Paraguay, for 167 years; the state of São Paulo, for 20 years; or the region of Brasília for 420 years.
Until this Tuesday, the 27th, Itaipu was producing in the month 8,081,682 MWh, progressing towards the best November of its history, surpassing that of 2017, the best so far in the ranking in 34 years of operation. The expectation is to close the month with 9.2 million MWh. If the prediction is confirmed, it will be the first time that Itaipu will exceed in a 30-day month the 9-million MWh mark.
From the beginning of the year until now, Itaipu has generated 87,412,067 MWh, compared to the 86,044,481 MWh of 2017. In the same period of 2016, year of the world record, the power plant produced 93,225,684 MWh. With this performance, 2018 should place among the four best in history.
If November's production is confirmed, 7.95 million MWh will be necessary in December for the annual total to surpass that of 2017. Statistically, this level of generation occurred in 10 of the last 18 years. To outdo the fifth best year of the record (2008), a production of 6.25 million MWh will be necessary, an amount always exceeded in the past 24 years of the power plant's operation.
100 million every 14 months
On average, Itaipu produced 100 million MWh every 12 to 14 months. The 2.5 billion, for example, were reached on November 21st, 2017. In 2016, Itaipu broke the world record of generation in a year, with 103 million MWh. Today, Itaipu supplies on average 15% of Brazil's consumption and 85% of Paraguay's.
For Brazilian general director, Marcos Stamm, the 2.6 billion MWh mark has strategic and symbolic importance. "Each year, Itaipu reinforces its mission generating clean and renewable energy at the service of Brazil and Paraguay's development, with sustainable practices, income generation, technological development, and social inclusion in benefit of the people". According to him, Itaipu is a reference for hydroelectric enterprises in the whole world. "A power plant that prides Brazilians and Paraguayans."
For the executive technical director, Mauro Corbellini, this mark shows that Itaipu is in full force, reaching high-efficiency indices to take quality energy to people's homes, move the economy, and develop the enterprise's two partner countries.
He adds that, in the last seven years, Itaipu has been able to supply over 100 million MWh in the interlinked Brazilian and Paraguayan systems every 380 days. This average has been over 400 days in the past. "Our teams' technical dedication and the accumulated experiences have made the difference in the best possible use of the available water resources."
The 2.6 billion MWh are reached in the midst of the beginning of the implantation of the power plant's modernization project to continue generating sustainably in the next decades.
For this update, a multidisciplinary team composed of Brazilian and Paraguayan engineers of the power plant itself has been coordinating with the other areas of the company several studies throughout the past years. An initial stage, carried out between 2003 and 2008, promoted the assessment of the hydroelectric power plant's assets, that is, in what useful life state all the equipment are.
The focus of the project is in the control, protection, supervision, regulation, excitation, and monitoring systems of the generator units and substations, such as circuit boards, sensors, and meters, among others, which are spread across several kilometers along the powerhouse, dam, substations, and spillway. The prediction is to update the systems of two generator units per year, a phase that should last ten years. The entire project should be concluded in 14 years.
On May 5th, 1984, the first of twenty unit predicted in the power plant's project became operational. In that year, Itaipu generated 276.5 thousand MWh. The last two machines were inaugurated in 2006 and 2007, when the power plant began operating with its maximum capacity installed: 14 thousand MW.