Brazil´s energy source is characterized by strong participation from renewables sources, especially water, to produce electrical energy. Santo Antônio Hydroelectric Plant has contributed to maintaining this profile and simultaneously increasing energy provision throughout the whole national territory. Additionally, it had a significantly reduced environmental impact by adopting a run-of-the-river model (with reduced reservoir).
Constructed on the Madeira River, within the Amazon rainforest and 7 km from the city of Porto Velho (RO), the generator started operating on March 30, 2012. It is currently operating with an installed power of 3.150,43 megawatts, resulting from generation by 44 turbines. It will be completely finished in November 2016, operating with 50 installed turbines, with a total power of 3,568 megawatts. This enough energy to supply power consumption for more than 45 million people.
Santo Antônio Hydroelectric Plant´s production benefits both local consumers and those located in other regions throughout the country. This is because the plant is already connected to the SIN (230 kV line from Cuiabá) and also supplies the Acre – Rondônia system (responsible for 70 % of total consumption for the two states).
This allocation increases the quantity, quality and reliability for the electrical energy available in the region, which is an important factor for attracting industry and businesses, therefore contributing to boosting economic activity. In addition, production of Santo Antônio Hydorelectric Plant means that the thermal plants which are diesel operated can be switched off (traditionally supplying the two states). The traditional plants have high operating costs and a large volume of greenhouse gas emissions.