GE Renewable Energy’s Hydro Solutions has signed a contract to provide full Operation & Maintenance (O&M) for the Igarapava Hydroelectric Power Plant, located in Rio Grande in the Paraná River Basin, between the municipalities of Igarapava and Rifaina, in São Paulo; Conquista and Sacramento, in Minas Gerais. The Igarapava Hydroelectric Power Plant was a pioneer in Brazil in the use of the “Bulb” turbogenerator group, which optimises electricity generation from dams with fast running water and extremely low heads of less than 20 metres from the top to the bottom of the dam.

GE Renewable Energy was one of the project’s main suppliers during Igarapava’s construction and installation. Now, under the new contract, the company is responsible for the operation and maintenance of all five hydroelectric generating units, each of which can provide 42 MW, for a total of 210 MW of installed capacity. This amount of energy is sufficient to meet the demand for electricity of 225,000 people.

To execute the contracted scope, GE Renewable Energy will operate the plant twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to the day-to-day operation, GE’s team is also responsible for defining and executing the entire plant maintenance plan, from routine activities to predictive and preventive actions, as well as unplanned maintenance.

“This new contract with the Igarapava Hydroelectric Power Plant shows the customer’s confidence in our experience and knowledge in the operation and maintenance of hydroelectric plants, accumulated during more than 20 years of operation in this area in Brazil,” says Pascal Radue, President & CEO of GE Renewable Energy’s Hydro business. We reaffirm our commitment to support the generation of clean, affordable and reliable energy for millions of Brazilians by helping to optimise the operations of the plants, so that they can make the most of their assets and resources to meet the demand for electricity in the country,” he says.

“The plant is over 23 years-old and our focus is on maintaining a very solid management of Igarapava. Therefore, we saw the need to have as a partner such as GE Renewable Energy, a company that could carry out the operation and maintenance with great technological capacity and expertise to mitigate risks. says Cláudio Silva, General Manager of Igarapava Hydroelectric Power Plant. “In addition to the technical expertise, GE Renewable Energy’s team has also proved to be committed to high standard practices in governance, health, safety, and people development, which positively reflects into the day-to-day operation” he concludes.

GE Renewable Energy is committed to providing and maintaining an installed base of renewable assets, including hydropower, which in Brazil accounts for more than 60% of the electric matrix. In partnership with its customers, GE works to help reduce the cost of renewable energy by making operations more competitive – a key step in accelerating the energy transition worldwide.

Image source: Courtesy of GE Renewable Energy

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