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Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 04:05 pm EDT

The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
\"Please Explain How Mining and Hydroelectric Projects Help Panamanians\"
Authored by: Don Winner on Tuesday, February 28 2012 @ 09:29 am EST

@salmegal28 - Regarding the Chan75 AES Changuinola hydroelectric project. Sorry, but you're flat out wrong. There is a big difference between generating 223 MW of electricity (bulk) at a hydroelectric dam, and the wire that runs to your house. First of all, Panama does not export any electricity to Costa Rica. In fact, recently Panama has purchased power from Costa Rica because of local shortfalls. Hence, the need to build more local power production capability (new dams). The primary problem is that the economy of Panama continues to grow, and every new building or mall or restaurant needs power. And you can't just take a wire from the dam and plug it into your air conditioner. Agreed - there's a local distribution problem within the province of Bocas del Toro and specifically in Changuinola and Almirante, I'm not denying that.

However you need to understand that the guys who built and operate the Chan75 is one company. The guys who buy and manage the bulk electricity for the national grid is another (second) company. And then the guys who deliver the power to your house at the consumer level is another (third) company. So, blaming the first company for the shortfalls and inadequacies of the third is ridiculous. Should your local problems with power distribution be fixed? Of course. Are there problems nationwide with delays in expanding and upgrading the consumer level electrical grid, especially once you get outside of Panama City? Yes, agreed, and accepted. However you're comparing apples to oranges. More than anything else you've highlighted a "perception" problem on the ground near this project. You're right - to the layman they look up, see the dam, and then wonder why there's no electricity in the local grid. So I mean "I get it" ...