The temporary suspension of hydroelectric production in 15 dams comes into force today, until the minimum quotas of its useful capacity that will be established by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) are reached.
In a resolution of the Council of Ministers, published in the Diário da República on Tuesday, the government created "a strategic reserve of water in reservoirs associated with hydroelectric plants" in Alto Lindoso, Alto Rabagão, Alqueva, Castelo do Bode, Caniçada, Cabril, Paradela, Lagoa Comprida, Salamonde, Santa Luzia, Vilar-Tabuaço, Vilarinho das Furnas, Vendas Novas, Baixo Sabor (upstream) and Gouvães.
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For this purpose, the government determined the temporary suspension of hydroelectric production in those dams, starting today, "until the minimum quotas of their useful capacity that will be established are reached.
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That strategic reserve should only be used if the security of electricity supply is
Thus, the executive determined that the APA, as the National Water Authority, promotes within 20 days after publication of the resolution, "with the collaboration of the overall manager of the national electricity system (SEN) and after hearing the owners of hydroelectric plants, the setting of the value of the quota, in meters, to be reached in each identified hydroelectric storage, publishing it on the respective website.
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In February, the government had already given orders to suspend the production of electricity from water in the dams of Alto Lindoso/Touvedo, Alto Rabagão, Vilar/Tabuaço, Cabril and Castelo de Bode, all of EDP
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The then Minister of Environment, João Matos Fernandes, explained that the measure was taken to address the effects of the meteorological drought affecting the country.
According to this week's resolution, the purpose of constituting a strategic reserve is to ensure that "storage in these reservoirs reaches at least a capacity corresponding to an increase in stored electricity of about 760 GWh [gigawatt-hours] compared to current global values, distributed generically in a proportional manner by hydroelectric plants.
"This measure aims to obtain a strategic reserve of water equivalent to about six days of average national consumption, which is relevant to the satisfaction of peak consumption, given that it guarantees the security of supply of the SEN in about 45 days," reads the document.