New production record: Itaipu records best January ever.
Itaipu established a new production milestone in January 2012. In the first 31 days of the year, the plant produced 8,465,855 MWh compared to 8,390,965 MWh in the same period in 2011, setting a new record for the month. Up until then, the highest record had been for the month in 2011.
And what contributed to a production increase of 0.9% this year? Besides great hydrological conditions, the answer is demand. Brazil and Paraguay's electricity systems demand a lot from Itaipu. And the binational is quick to respond. The average generation for January was 11,379 MW.
Production is expected to remain high. And even with so much being generated, there is still plenty of water in the reservoir. This Wednesday (1st) morning, some 4,873 cubic meters of water flowed down the spillway per second.
According to the Itaipu Superintendency of Operations, the average affluent flow for the month of February should be around 15,000 m3/s.
With this, the overflow of excess water not used for generation should be maintained, on average, at between 3,000 and 4,000 m3/s, at least for the next ten days. A true spectacle for tourists and those who work at the plant and ideal for taking a moment to enjoy and photograph.
The overflow is largely a result of the rain that fell in the Southeast region in early January. The region’s reservoirs are at 76% of their capacity. Some hydroelectric plants, those with very high reservoir volumes, have had to open their spillways. In a knock on effect, part of this water reached Itaipu, the last plant along the basin in Brazilian territory.
See the graph with generation comparisons for January, over recent years:
The best January ever has made the Itaipu technical team even more optimistic. The plant has set a goal of reaching the mark of 100 million MWh in 2012. The previous record was set in 2008, when Itaipu generated 94.6 million MWh. With 20 generators, Itaipu has an installed capacity of 14,000 MWh. In 2011, it provided 17% of Brazil’s consumption and 73% of Paraguay's. See the production for all years in the graph: