Helping The Economy And Preserving The Environment
Brazil’s rapidly growing economy has been driving a corresponding demand for more and more energy. And, like other nations around the world, Brazil is looking toward tapping its domestic renewable and carbon-free energy sources. Blessed with the world’s highest discharge river system, hydropower is a natural choice for Brazil.
Run-of-river configurations were selected for the Rio Madeira hydropower plants because they virtually eliminate the need for reservoirs and the subsequent flooding of land, greatly reducing the environmental footprint.
Low Head; High Output
Each plant has an astounding 50 generating units putting each plant near the top of the list for the number of generating units per hydropower plant. GE was tasked with supplying 10 of the 75 MW turbine and 17 generator units for Jirau, the most powerful bulb turbine and generator units in operation, and 21 of the 71 MW turbine and 26 generator units for Santo Antônio. Santo Antônio also includes the world’s biggest downstream gates. GE even built a workshop nearby to speed delivery of these gates and other hydro-mechanical equipment.
Jirau and Santo Antônio have been key elements behind Brazil’s economic growth and energy independence.