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Costa Rica cancels power outage plan

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Published on Wednesday, May 15, 2024
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Institute of Electricity (ICE) announced on Wednesday that the nationwide power outage plan had been canceled.

According to the state-owned organization that provides energy and telecommunications services, the strategy has been dismissed due to increasing energy reserves and water flows that provide hydroelectric plants.

Furthermore, ICE increased its purchases of power in the Central America Regional Electricity Market (MER), which enables power trading between Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Due to the drought triggered by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) global climatic phenomena, authorities alerted last week about the power supply cut-off plan that was originally scheduled for May 13-18.


ENSO occurs when the tropical Pacific Ocean's winds and sea surface temperatures change. El Niño (the boy in English) refers to the warming phase of sea surface temperature, whereas La Niña (the girl in English) corresponds to the cooling period.

Since early 2023, El Niño has caused severe droughts in Costa Rica, significantly reducing the amount of water stored in hydroelectric dams.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that the Niño of 2023-24 is diminishing. Forecasters predict an 85% likelihood of El Niño ending and the tropical Pacific returning to neutral conditions by June 2024.

Costa Rica's electrical industry performed admirably, allowing it to electrify 98.8% of its area.

The country generates over 1 million kilowatts (KW) of installed power and over 5 million megawatts (MWh) of net generation from 32 water-storage hydroelectric plants, including Reventazón, Angostura, Cachí, Arenal, La Joya, and Torito among others. Along with geothermal and eolic energy generation.

A.M. Costa Rica urges readers to share this alert with their contacts.

What should Costa Rica do to avoid a power supply cut-off?
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