Norwegian power company Statkraft has officially opened the 172MW Cheves hydropower plant in Peru.

Located along the Churin and Checras rivers, around 245km north of the country capital Lima, the power plant comprises dual units that have a gross head of 600m and can generate around 840GWh of power annually.

The facility uses water from the Andes for hydro power generation and was Statkraft’s ninth in the country.

The firm was the sole developer and constructor for this greenfield project, which raises its capacity for renewable energy generation in Peru to 2,500GWh per year.

Eight local distribution companies will be drawing the power output from the facility under long-term power purchase agreements (PPA).

"It…underlines our ambition to further strengthen our position as a leading international provider of pure energy."

Statkraft executive vice-president international hydropower Asbjørn Grundt said: "The opening of Cheves consolidates Statkraft’s position among the largest power producers in Peru.

"It also underlines our ambition to further strengthen our position as a leading international provider of pure energy. Our efforts in South America play a very important role in this strategy."

Switzerland-based ABB was selected in 2011 to deliver power equipment and engineering services for the Cheves hydropower facility.

The firm was responsible for the complete electrical balance of plant (eBoP) systems, including GIS substation, generator breakers, medium-voltage and low-voltage switchgears, step-up transformers, plant controls and protection systems.

In Peru alone, Statkraft and state-owned investment fund Norfund own and operate nine hydropower plants. The facilities have a combined energy capacity of 443MW, and an annual power production of about 2,500GWh.

Statkraft intends to develop its power-generating assets through development, operation and maintenance of hydropower and wind power assets in Brazil, Chile and Peru.

Image: Cheves hydropower plant in Peru. Photo: courtesy of Statkraft.