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Government promotes geothermal power generation in El Salvador

Geothermal energy is one of the renewable sources used in the country, mainly for the generation of electrical energy by thermal gradient. To increase its contribution to the energy matrix, the Lempa River Hydroelectric Executive Commission (CEL), through LAGEO, executes an intensive investment plan.

As part of this effort, this month LAGEO will execute operation and maintenance plans for the generating units of the geothermal power plants, in order to increase their production.

“We are giving more life to our geothermal plants to continue generating energy for Salvadorans. That is why we have started major maintenance in Unit 3 of our Ahuachapán Geothermal Power Plant”, highlighted LAGEO.

For his part, in previous dates, Ricardo Figueroa, manager of the Ahuachapán Geothermal Power Plant, explained that the repairs are carried out in order to maintain the reliability of the equipment, verify adjustments and change important parts of the machines.

“With this maintenance we are transforming the lives of dozens of people who live near the geothermal plant in Ahuachapán, generating 90 temporary jobs, of which 21% are for women,” the company explained.

According to LAGEO statistics, until November of this year, the Berlin and Ahuachapán geothermal power plants generated 176 megawatts (MW), which represents a contribution to the energy matrix of 25%.

The good performance that the Government has had, through LAGEO, allowed the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to classify El Salvador as a leader in the region in terms of geothermal resources.

New geothermal projects

Within the framework of the High Level Meeting of the Global Geothermal Alliance, held for the first time in history in El Salvador, last September, the president of CEL, Daniel Álvarez, announced that the Government seeks to increase the generation capacity of renewable , with emblematic projects that will inject greater dynamism into the country’s economy.

In the conclave, organized by Irena and the Government of El Salvador, through CEL, Álvarez assured that the investment to expand the geothermal generation capacity will reach $620 million.

Among the projects that stood out, on that occasion, were the construction of the Chinameca Geothermal Plant and the San Vicente Geothermal Plant, which together will generate 30 megawatts (MW) in the first phase; however, in its second phase it is expected that they will reach 50 MW of energy.