Powering Net Zero Commitments

More about hydro

Hydroelectricity has been around for more than a century and is a reliable form of renewable energy. Hydropower plants utilise flowing water to turn a turbine which is connected to a generator that produces electricity.

Project photos

Project information

The San Clemente hydroelectric power plant has an installed capacity of 5.5 MW and uses water from the Colbún reservoir, which is delivered to the Maitenes irrigation system on the north bank of the Maule river. It supplies the electricity demand of over 4,000 people. The project diverts a nominal water flow of 17 m3 /s to a turbine after which the water is returned to the Sanatorio Brook 2 km further downstream. The run-of-river hydropower generation installation comprises of water intakes, adduction channel and penstocks leading to a vertical axe Kaplan turbine (5.5 MW) coupled with a vertical axe generator (6.3MVA). The unit also has a powerhouse and pipeline leading the water to the turbine where the electricity is generated. A 66 kV transmission line delivers the energy production to the Chiburgo substation. The project generates around 28,470 MWh per year which is supplied to the grid.

The project supports the region’s broader objectives of reducing Green House Gas emissions and transitioning away from electricity generated from fossil fuel-fired power plants.

CO2 emissions reduction

An estimate of the project’s annual carbon emission reductions achieved.

Baseline emissions 12,620 MT CO2-e

Project activity emissions


0 MT CO2-e0

0MT CO2-e

Overall emissions reduction 12,620 MT CO2-e

Sustainable Development Goals

As a Paying.Green® member, your investment not only benefits the environment, but it also supports communities through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Long term full time employment opportunities to support the region with high levels of rural population, historic poverty and unemployment compared to the national average.

This project generates “green power” through zero‐emission hydro technology.

The project enhanced the region’s economic activity during its construction. It also continues to contribute to the region’s economy during the lifetime of the project.

This project results in estimated reduction in emissions of 12,620 MT CO2-e.

Project location

The project is located in the San Clemente commune, Talca Province, VII Region of Maule, about 33km south east of the city of Talca, in an area known as Sanatorio, close to the north bank of the Maule River and downstream from the Colbún reservoir.