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Oct 11, 2000

Hydro plant is one beneficiary of floods

While over the last week we have been reporting on the disastrous rise of floodwaters in the northern third of the nation, there is one small bit of economic news that is not negative. Reports from the Mollejon Hydro Plant in Cayo indicate that the heavy rains flowing into the Macal basin have the facility running at full output. According to BECOL engineer Stephen Usher, Mollejon has been putting out a peak energy flow of just under 29 megawatts, more than enough to power the entire national grid. At one point during Keith, due to the outages in San Pedro and Belize City the grid’s requirement was down to only 9 megawatts and the Mollejon engineers shut down 1 of the plant’s 3 massive turbines. At one point water levels at the facility were down to only 4 feet above normal, but recent rains have put that back up to 7 feet, well above the Keith induced level of 18 feet above normal a week ago. All in all this has been a good season for hydropower, as generation is running 10 to 15% ahead of 1999 and Mollejon is headed for a year of record output.

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