Client Machu Picchu Power Station / Santa Teresa hydroelectric power plant

Location Cuzco, Peru

Sectors Utilities

The challenge

Deliver temporary power 3,400 above sea level

Cuzco lies high up in the Andes, 3,400 metres above sea level. It’s a cultural and commercial hub for tourists visiting the World Heritage-listed site, Machu Picchu, and electricity is their life-blood: it powers their local economy and community. 

So when interconnection work between the Machu Picchu Power Station and the Santa Teresa hydroelectric plant threatened to seriously disrupt supply for 45 days, the Peruvian government called us to provide a temporary power supply. We knew that moving equipment over the Andes and setting it up for the high altitude would be a challenge but we were up for it.

Project fact file

45 days

That temporary power was needed

3,400 metres

Distance above sea level

1,105 km

Distance equipment was transported

20 MV + 10 MW

Power plans supplied

The solution

Specially designed equipment for high altitudes  

We trucked the equipment overland 1,105 km through difficult terrain and delivered it to the site in just five days. The client wanted two installations: one 20 MW and one 10 MW site. No problem. We used varying numbers of generators, transformers and fuel tanks for the sites but it was the high altitude that was the biggest challenge. 

Generators perform best at sea level so engineers needed to factor in the effects of the higher altitudes (a process known as ‘derating’). Normally there would be a decrease in output of about 10 per cent for every 1,000 metres but through our innovative design we managed to get the derating down to only 10 per cent overall for both sites. This resulted in significant costs savings for the customer.

the aggreko difference

We have the equipment and expertise to get the job done, even in extreme conditions.

The impact

Cost savings for the customer, business as usual for the locals 

The temporary supply kept Cuzco powered and operating through the 45-day rework on the major power supply. The local cafes, restaurants and tour companies were able to operate, business-as-usual without a loss of trade or profit.  

We provided a trouble-free project by taking on other tasks, such as preparation of the Project Environmental Impact Assessment and the securing of generation permits. This saved the customer time and hassle. The design of our two plants maximised output from engines operating under extreme altitudes, resulting in significant cost savings.

“The terrain and high altitudes were a challenge but, having worked in inhospitable conditions before, we knew we could deliver the project.”

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