Panama’s Reservoirs Still Not Reaching Optimum Levels

Panama’s Reservoirs Still Not Reaching Optimum Levels

Sunday, June 29 2014 @ 10:49 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 19
WeatherThe daily flow of water from the lakes of the country’s main hydroelectric dams shows they are still not reaching the optimal water levels required to produce electrical energy.
The situation regarding Panama’s ability to generate electrical power is becoming worrisome, because of the looming threat of an El Niño phenomenon that will shorten the rainy season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States issued a prediction on 23 June there is a 70% chance of El Niño conditions from this month through September, and then afterwards an 80% chance from October 2014 through March 2015.

“That in itself is worrying, and even more so, given the situation and the generation shortages in our electrical system,” said Victor Urrutia, the former Administrator of the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP).

Panama depends on electrical power generate by hydroelectric sources for 60% of its requirements. The remaining 40% is generated by “thermal” generation plants burning bunker fuel, diesel, and coal.

A newly installed wind farm began operations last January in Cocle, but the facility only generates less than 1% of the energy required by the total production system.

Experts advise following the example set by Colombia, where they save water in anticipation of difficult times, but in Panama it becomes almost impossible to follow this recommendation, because today the reservoirs of Panama’s hydro-electrical production system are working at a deficit. (Prensa)

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