Italy’s Enel Green Power has commenced operations from its 85MW Palo Viejo hydroelectric plant in Guatemala.

The ‘run-of-the-river plant’, which is built without a dam or reservoir, will be able to generate 370 million kilowatt hours a year and avoid emissions of 280,000 tonnes of CO2 on an annual basis.

The construction of the plant was supported by Simest, the public-private finance institution which promotes the international development of Italian enterprises.

Enel Green Power CEO Francesco Starace said the Palo Viejo hydro project is a demonstration of the company’s ability to build power plants in Latin America.

"The entry into service of the new plant has further increased our ‘zero-emissions’ capacity in Guatemala, where we have had a well established presence for a long time, showing our commitment to contributing to sustainable growth in the country," said Starace.

With the new plant, EGP’s total installed capacity in Latin America has increased by 161MW to 754MW.