Uruguay facing a severe drought and insufficient rainfall began this week to receive electricity from the Argentine power grid. Uruguay’s electricity is mainly hydroelectric and in the country’s main dams the water level has been falling dramatically.
According to a bilateral energy agreement, Uruguay is receiving 400 Mw/h from Argentina, of which 150 at a special rate while the remaining 250 at spot market prices (approximately 178.50 US dollars the Mw/h) according to the country’s Electricity Market Administration Office, ADME.
This should help freeze power generation in the hydroelectric dams along the River Negro leaving them as reserves for an emergency.
“This should help the recovery of water reserves in under ground layers” said ADME in a release. In 2009 and 2010 Uruguay was forced to invest almost 1.2 billion US dollars in purchasing power and subsidizing the domestic market to keep prices at “an accessible level” for consumers.
Next April Uruguay’s power corporation UTE will be inviting interested parties to invest in wind energy projects. The target for this first bidding process is 150 Mw which must be offered to the national grid with a minimum supply of 30 to 50 Mw.
Uruguay with a hilly geography next to the South Atlantic has several wind turbine test plants which generate less that 2% of the country’s electricity production. 9.400 Mwh.