Chilean Patagonia dam-free, at least a while longer.

Chilean Patagonia dam-free, at least a while longer.

In the recent NRDC newsletter a brief report was published that two companies (Colbun and Endesa Chile) involved in the controversial project of damming Baker and Pascua Rivers in the Aysen region of south Patagonia have backed out. Chilean government have long looked at the possibility of exploring that region for hydroelectric power. Chile, with its growing economy and rising standard of living as well as intensive mining industry is power starved. We have personally witnessed a huge power blackout while visiting Valparaiso last September. The lights over the entire city went out and as we later found out nearly a 1/3 of the country had a problem.

The project called HidroAysen would involve building of five dams in this remote region and constructing power lines running through some of the most beautiful and pristine areas in South America. Chilean public and environmental organizations have long fought the project and this recent development is one small victory in a long and hard battle.

see also “Patagonia Rising” a documentary on this project, available on Netflix, and recent NRDC post detailing the story

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