In February 2011, and through the Plan de Terminación de Yacyretá or Yacyretá Completion Plan (“PTY in Spanish”) consented to by Argentina and Paraguay, the Hydroelectric Center reached its maximum of 83 meters over sea level in the Encarnación Posadas axis and managed to operate to the 100% of its generation capacity with 3,100 megabytes of power installed.
Meeting that goal was celebrated by the Presidents of both countries through an important event held on 25 February in Posadas, Misiones.
A great deal of the investment was run through a Trust carried out by the BICE as from April 2005. This institution’s hard work made it possible, with no delays or difficulties, for a project to be made and whose completion took 37 years since the day it was created.
With the highest quota, it is possible to produce almost 60% of the hydroelectric generation of our country (a 22% of our total energy consumed) and to meet, similarly, the demand from Paraguay.
On 12/22/2010 a Trust was executed and it was established that Energía Provincial Sociedad del Estado – EPSE – on behalf of the Province of San Juan (as Trustor) and Compañía Administradora del Mercado Mayorista Eléctrico S.A. – CAMMESA – (as Development Unit or Assignment Debtor), will transfer the BICE (as trustee), the total amount of the funds to build the Hydroelectric Center known as ‘Central Hidroeléctrica Punta Negra’ or Punta Negra Hydroelectric Center.
The project’s main goals are: the social and economic development of the province of San Juan, to create a reservoir for Dique Los Caracoles to optimize the exploitation of its hydroelectric center, and the rise in hydroelectric energy generation by 296 GWh/year to be traded on the Wholesale Electricity Market.
The hydroelectric exploitation area of the Punta Negra project is located on the San Juan River at kilometer 35 of the Provincial Route No 12, bordering the districts of Ullúm and Zonda, linking the city of San Juan and the District of Calingasta, at the foothill of the Andean Range.
The direct influence area covers the valleys of Ullúm – Zonda and Tulúm, which covers the districts of Ullúm, Zonda, Chimbas, Rivadavia, Rawson, Santa Lucía, Pocito, Sarmiento, Albardón, Angaco, San Martín, Caucete, 9 de Julio and 25 de Mayo.
The general aim of the project is the economic development of the province of San Juan, the sustainability of the irrigation and drainage systems in the valleys of Tulúm and Ullúm – Zonda and the sustainability of the National Interconnected System (electric) (SIN).
A hydroelectric exploitation project is expected to be carried out at kilometer 19 down the Proyecto Caracoles, at current Punta Negra dam. The center will operate at off-peak times and the rest as a reservoir for the energy generated at rush hours in CH Caracoles. The electric energy will be traded on the Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM), using the dam to increase the control over and availability of waters for agricultural activities, as well as for the control of sediment and management of overflow rise. The construction of the dam will impact the regional tourist development, both because of dam-related recreational activities and the improvement of energy infrastructure.
Once the operation stage of the project is on, the annual energy average is expected to have a generation of 296,4 GWh, produced by two Francis-type turbines of 31.1 MW each. The water exploitation will mean a rise in the farming area of about 10,000 hectares and will provide more safety to the water reservoir of 110,000 hectares currently available for irrigation.