Hydropower in Argentina

Installed capacity10GW

Production2.74Mtoe per year

Hydroelectricity is an important component of Argentina’s power profile. Though hydroelectric output fluctuates and has declined in recent years, it accounts for between one-quarter and one-third of Argentina’s total electricity generation. Argentina’s most significant hydroelectric capacity is located in Neuquén, followed by border provinces that share hydroelectric output with surrounding countries.

Argentina and Paraguay divide power from the large Yacyreta plant, which sits astride the Paraná River (Corrientes province) with a total installed capacity of 3.1 GW. Likewise, the Salto Grande hydroelectric plant on the Uruguay River (along Entre Ríos province) has a capacity of 1.89 GW, from which output is split evenly between Argentina and Uruguay. In 2011, total hydroelectric generation was 39,339 GWh, according to CAMMESA.

The WEC Argentine Member Committee reports that there is an ongoing updating and improvement of cost-estimation procedures, the review of existing projects using consistent criteria, and the evaluation of the resource up to the level of technical and economic pre-feasibility.

The Committee also reports that Argentina possesses 75 small, mini and micro hydro plants (of up to 30 MW capacity), with an aggregate capacity of 377 MW and an annual generation equivalent to 1.6% of national electricity demand.