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Ilopango-Aguacayo Hydropower Project

Ilopango-Aguacayo Hydropower Project


Lake Illopango, El Salvador

  • Costing, financial, and economic analysis
  • Assessment of international financing options
  • Intake, tunnel, and powerhouse design
  • Geological analysis
  • Geotechnical investigations
  • Hydrology assessment
  • Environmental, social, and economic analysis
  • Regulatory analysis and implementation plan

The Illopango-Aguacayo Hydropower Project is a 19 MW hydropower facility on Lake Ilopango in El Salvador. Lake Ilopango, the largest lake in the country, is located about 20 miles southeast of the City of San Salvador. The project will deliver clean, sustainable energy, and will offer local commuities improved roadways, flood control, and other socio and economic development benefits.  The project has a long-term power purchase agreement, and is in the process of obtaining necessary implementation permits.  

Knight Piésold’s Role

Knight Piesold conducted a detailed technical and environmental assessment to support the development of the project. The scope of work included :

  • Conducting a feasibility study to US Trade and Development Agency standards
  • Developing documents to meet international financing criteria
  • Reviewing existing information and initial topography
  • Conducting assessments of geological, geotechnical, and seismicity parameters
  • Defining geotechnical field surveys
  • Defining a full hydrologic record of the project, including a mathematical model to balance inflow/outflow of Lake Ilopango and the impacted rivers
  • Preparing an environmental baseline assessment
  • Preparing an initial project formulation, including locations for water intake, conveyance, and powerhouse
  • Optimizing project facilities based on the hydrologic/hydraulic simulation
  • Providing layout and sections of the intake and powerhouse, as well as the water conveyance alignment
  • Conducting geotechnical field surveys to a level sufficient for completion of water conveyance design
  • Developing environmental and social impact mitigation plan and assessment compliant with World Bank, International Finance Corporation, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation standards
  • Conducting final topographical survey
  • Developing final project optimization and design, including cost estimate, permitting, and construction schedule
  • Evaluating market options for the project energy generation and constructing a financial model of the project
  • Conducting regulatory analysis and developing an overall project implementation plan