May 18 of 2011
The Madeira hydroeletric complex - regional integration and enviromental sustainability using bulb type turbines
Márcio Antônio Arantes Porto/Antônio de Pádua Bemfica Guimarães/Mario Marcio Rogar/José Ricardo Castro de Almeida/Carlos Castanho Junior/Maria do Campo Reis Cavalcanti/Denise Chiarelli Fonseca/José Bonifácio Pinto Jr
Paper published on PCH Notícias & SHP NEWS #27.
The Madeira Hydroelectric Complex, takes part in a much broader context such as the Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA), which congregates efforts of the South-American Governments. The Complex encompasses four hydroelectric power plants, two of them in Brazil, one on the Brazil/Bolivia border and one in Bolivia, as well as a 4.200 km long waterway. Nowadays, the existence of several rapids on the Madeira River does not allow boat traffic upstream from Porto Velho. The construction of lock gates on all four of the Madeira Complex power plants shall enable the navigation from the outskirts of the Andes, on Peru and Bolivia, to the Atlantic Ocean and, in association with roadways and/or railways, will also provide an alternative route for Brazilian and Bolivian p roducts to the Pacific Ocean. The present paper intends to discuss the project concepts, developed studies and actions taken to achieve the Complex construction which, by means of increasing the local energy offer and integrating transportation and energy infrastructures, shall improve the government presence and action on the region, organizing regional development, and establishing solid bases for its sustainable development. The Brazilian Plants of Santo Antônio and Jirau, feasibility studies of which have just been concluded, represent the first step towards this Project, and shall increase the Brazilian power supply offer in 6.45 GW. The necessary authorizations for the international plants inventories are on its final negotiation stages, and the studies are expected to begin soon. Today, the state of Rondônia electrical generation capability can offer about 800 MW, more than half of it based on diesel thermoelectric power plants, not connected to the integrated Brazilian energy transmission system. The construction of the Santo Antônio and Jirau power plants will increase in 9 times the local energy offer. Transmission lines to the states of Acre, Amazonas, and western Mato Grosso, shall spread such offer throughout an area presently deprived of it. Additionally, the connection to the integrated Brazilian energy transmission system will enable it to benefit from the different hydrological regimens all over the country. The Engineering studies were carried out aiming to achieve the smallest possible environmental impact arising from the construction of the power plants. In order to do so it has been sought to disturb the river regimen the least and restrict the reservoirs areas virtually to those already flooded during rainy season. Therefore, the engineering solution adopted was that of low head power plants, respectively 13.90m (Santo Antônio) and 15.2m (Jirau), making use Bulb Type Turbines which do not require large reservoirs but rather large water volumes and speed, also yielding several advantages related some specificities of the Madeira project.