Emerson modernizes hydroelectric power complex in South America

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The Salto Grande Mixed Technical Commission has awarded Emerson a contract to modernize operations at the binational Salto Grande Hydroelectric Complex. The project is the first of a three-stage, 30-year, $960 million investment to extend the life and improve the efficiency and safety of the 40-year-old complex located between Argentina and Uruguay.

Beyond supplying renewable energy to parts of Uruguay and Argentina, the 1,890-megawatt Salto Grande facility is integral to life in the region, regulating the flow of the Uruguay River, meeting the demand for drinking water supply and irrigation, preserving wildlife and ensuring the safety of local residents. Hydropower, the world’s largest source of renewable energy, generates power by running water through turbines. It is one of the cleanest sources of power and is also the lowest-cost source of electricity in many markets, according to the International Hydropower Association.


The five-year contract calls for Emerson to modernize 14 hydroelectric turbine governors with its Ovation automation technology, designed to expertly control and monitor hydropower operations. The comprehensive solution includes measurement and machinery instrumentation for monitoring process conditions and will help provide reliable power generation that is highly responsive to the dynamic needs of the region’s electrical grid. Emerson’s experience successfully completing hydropower retrofit projects of similar size and scope, as well as a strong local presence, were key factors in selection for this project.