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Itaipu has the best first trimester in history
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Two days before closing the month of March, the Itaipu power plant already has the best first trimester in its history. At 7 am this Tuesday, 29th, the plant exceeded the previous record of 24.83 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in the first trimester of 2013, when it also recorded its record annual generation.
The technical area of the plant now works with the expectation of reaching 50 million MWh in the first half of the year. This year, the Itaipu plant recorded the best January and February and successive generation records. The more Itaipu generates, the better it is for the country, with less dependence on thermal generation, which is less clean and more expensive.
Brazil for 20 days
The production during this trimester would be enough to meet the consumption of Foz do Iguaçu for 44 years; the State of Paraná for ten months; the city of São Paulo for 10.5 months. Furthermore: it would be enough to serve the entire Southern Region for 3.5 months and the whole Brazil for about 20 days. And Paraguay would be supplied for two years and one month.
In comparison with the largest energy producers in Brazil, the production of almost 25 million MWh is more than the total energy generated over the past year by the plants in Rio Madeira, Santo Antônio and Jirau, which are in an increased production phase, but already are third place on the ranking of the three thousand power plants in Brazil.
El Niño
The production of Itaipu has mainly benefited from the weather phenomenon El Niño. With rains above average in Southern Brazil, the plant could produce at full load, which contributed to the recovery of the water levels in the reservoirs of the hydroelectric plants in the Southeastern and Northeastern regions, after two years of drought.
The executive technical director, Airton Dipp, explains that the concern of Itaipu is to take advantage of every opportunity, always in a sustainable manner, to ensure cleaner energy for electrical systems in Brazil and Paraguay.  
During this trimester, the inflow of Itaipu (water inlet into the reservoir) averaged 18,000 cubic meters per second (m³/s), almost double the historical average, which is 11,800 m³/s. Technicians have adopted measures to take full advantage of this volume. When there is alot of overflow, the water level below the reservoir rises, decreasing the volume of falling water, and hence the production capacity. In other words. It is good to have plenty of water, but you must also know how to use it.  
"It's a game between higher flow rates and possibly lower waterfalls," said the superintendent of Operations, Celso Torino. He says that throughout this period, Itaipu's operation has followed the "guideline of Dancing with the Waters." That is, within certain methodological limitations, to optimize the production of energy according to the hydrological signal and the opportunity for better utilization.
For this optimization, it was necessary, for example, to have perfect coordination between the "hydrologic sign" (with constant monitoring of rainfall and increased reservoir flow), the necessities of consumption in Brazil and Paraguay, and to have generating units and transmission systems available, as well as have our actions in tune with the National System Operator, Furnas and Copel in Brazil, and Ande in Paraguay.
Additionally, hydro power planning is essential, taking care that the intensity of the overflow undermines the waterfall as little as possible (and consequently, the power and energy); and, among other factors, reconfiguring the generation limits of the generating units in relation to the periods of drought and plenty of water resources; and take advantage of the differences in peak consumption of the two markets, Brazil and Paraguay, in conjunction with Ande and the ONS.
The efficiency ratios for the period show the project's success and the installation of generating units in the plant successes, as well as its excellent state of operation and maintenance. The FCO (available water utilization rate), even with overflows, reached 91%; availability of generating units was 98.1%; and forced downtime (when a generator is unavailable unexpectedly) was only 0.02%.