Hydropower in Uruguay

Hydropower Installed Capacity1.54GW

Hydropower Production711ktoe per year

Between 2003 and 2007, 68% of Uruguay’s energy needs were met by hydroelectric dams on the Uruguay River. The largest of these impoundments, the Salto Grande, a facility shared with Argentina, has generated up to half of Uruguay’s electricity in the past. Apart from the bi-national Salto Grande, with a total capacity of 1,890 MW, existing plants are Terra (152 MW), Baygorria (108 MW), Constitucion (333 MW).   All the potential for large hydro in Uruguay has already been developed.

According to the Uruguayan Member Committee of WEC the technically exploitable potential is 10 TWh/yr, within a gross theoretical potential of 32 TWh. Some 6 TWh/yr of hydro capacity is regarded as economically feasible for development at present. At the end of 2011 operational capacity was 1 538 MW with a total production of 6 479 GWh of electricity that year. No new capacity was under construction at the time.

During the 1980s almost all of Uruguay’s incremental generating capacity was in the form of hydropower, notably through the commissioning of the bi-national Salto Grande (1 890 MW) plant on the river Uruguay; the republic shares its output with Argentina. No hydro plants are reported to be presently under construction and only about 70 MW is planned: future increases in generating capacity are likely to be largely fuelled by natural gas.

More resources