The arrival of heavy rains and new mobile thermal plants from the United States will help to ensure a steady flow of electricity during the dry months, according to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).
The diesel generator plants, are significantly more expensive to operate than hydroelectric or geothermal plants preferred in Costa Rica, according to a statement from ICE, but will ensure continuity during the latter half of the country’s December to April dry season.
Last year, about 80% of electricity consumed in Costa Rica was hydroelectric, 14% was geothermal and 6% was oil-based thermal.
When water levels in LakeArenal, the country’s primary supplier of water for hydroelectricity generation, drop, the entire country’s supply is put at risk.
In April, the country suffered rolling power outages, or apagones, as well as the first nationwide blackout in five years. The outages were in part caused by low water in the lake, which left the country with 25% less capacity (TT, April 27).
Heavy rains since, assured ICE officials, have refilled the lake to levels that should suffice through the coming dry season.