The hydroelectric plant that cleans its river

Thursday, 20 October 2016

“The common practice of using the river as an open-air dump turned what had been a resource for the economy into an environmental problem”

Bringing back the river with an idea

The Rio Samalá’s trouble was interrupted when the El Canadà plant began to play an unusual, yet essential, role for a hydroelectric plant: that of purifier.

“The water of the Rio is first filtered by a coarse grate that blocks objects and slag, then a smaller device takes care of smaller residues.”

The waste collected by our plant is separated and recycled: plastic is reused, while residues that can be burned become fuel for industrial plants.

Hydroelectric plants provide better productivity if the water used does not contain debris. Cleaning up rubbish from the river using the plants of El Canadà (46 MW) and Montecristo (13 MW) meant increasing the plants’ generation efficiency and, at the same time, started a program of environmental protection that benefits the entire population.

This idea, applied in Guatemala, represents a way of understanding innovation from a 360° viewpoint, where a solution that allows the improvement of business activities offers the additional service of cleaning water, thus contributing to the achievement of one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.