Anniversary of one of Panedile’s large-scale works

Central Rio Grande celebrates 30 years of operations.

In the Calamuchita Valley, 130 km from the city of Cordoba, Panedile built the Rio Grande Hydroelectric power Complex. Inaugurated on February 14, 1986, this large-scale engineering work turns 30, three decades of producing energy to supply the country’s electricity needs.

The Rio Grande complex has the largest pumping station in South America. One of its distinguishing features is the ability to pump water from a lower reservoir to a higher one, with an energy generation capacity of 750MW.

The complex was built to transform surplus energy at a low marginal cost into high quality high value energy at times of peak demand. It also has great importance as reserve power source in the interconnected electric system, because of its extreme flexibility, as it can come on line at full steam very quickly in order to cover any emergency. Its operating mechanisms are fully automated and can generate energy in barely 3 minutes.

Rio Grande in numbers

  • 30 years producing energy for the country
  • 750 MW installed capacity. Triples the generation capacity of the Province of Córdoba.
  • 4 reversible Francis turbines with a vertical axis
  • at 105 m long, 25 m wide and 50 m high in the cavern, it is the only one of its kind. The cave is big enough to house the Cathedral of Cordoba city. The stone cavern lies 130 m below the river floor within the Cerro Colorado mountain range.
  • Two reservoirs at different levels, one upper and one lower -Cerro Pelado – Arroyo Corto.

The system takes three minutes to go on line at full load, allowing it to cope with any kind of energy deficit in the national grid

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