Milestone-Nomination:Rincon del Bonete Hydroelectric Plant and Transmission System
Docket Number: 2011-05
In the space below the line, please enter your proposed citation in English, with title and text. Text absolutely limited to 70 words; 60 is preferable for aesthetic reasons. NOTE: The IEEE History Committee shall have final determination on the wording of the citation
Rincon del Bonete Hydroelectric Plant and Transmission System, 1945
In December, 1945, much-needed hydroelectric power began flowing from here to other parts of Uruguay.
World War II had interrupted the work of the German consortium led by Siemens, but a Uruguayan engineers reformulated and completed the project using United States-supplied equipment.
The large artificial lake spurred further Rio Negro electrification; availability of abundant, clean hydroelectricity was a turning point in Uruguay's development and quality of life.
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In the space below the line, please describe the historic significance of this work: its importance to the evolution of electrical and computer engineering and science and its importance to regional/national/international development.
What features or characteristics set this work apart from similar achievements?
As the German contractor could not complete the work, Uruguayan engineers decided to study the project and take charge of its reformulation employing electromechanical equipment manufactured in the USA.
The challenge (w/o precedents) required deep study, a lot of dedication, a dose of ingenuity and application of sound engineering principles.
The project culminated with the mounting and commissioning of the imported equipment made entirely by Uruguayan engineers and technicians trained by them.
All this was made during difficult war times. The successful completion marked a very high point in the history of engineering in Uruguay.
The big artificial lake (1070 Square Km) was at that time the largest in LatinAmerica, and its capacity allows the generation of Power for 4 months, even during a drought.
Rincon del Bonete set an example as the country turned to clean renewable Hydropower, replacing burning of costly coal imports.
It set the stage for the industrial development, and the development of the electric Transmission System allowed hydroelectric energy for rural electrification and welfare of the whole population of the country.
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