Chilean Hydroelectric Dam Project to be Appealed to Supreme Court

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The controversial $10 billion Patagonian HidroAysen hydroelectric mega-dam approved in May by the Chilean government has recently had a Chilean appeals court in Puerto Montt vote 3 to 1 to reject seven lawsuits filed against it, with supporters of blocking it vowing to appeal to the country’s Supreme court.

The lawsuits were brought querying the legality of the government’s environmental review process and cited numerous procedural irregularities and alleged conflicts of interest.

After the Puerto Montt appeals court ruling was made public, Patagonia Sin Represas, a citizen’s group opposed to the project, said that the court decision would now be appealed to the Supreme Court, Coyhaique’s daily Diario el Divisadero reported.

The Patagonian HidroAysen hydroelectric project is a joint venture between Chilean energy company Colbun and the Spanish Endesa energy company, a part of Enel. The HidroAysen hydroelectric facility would install five dams on two of Chile’s largest rivers, the Baker and Pascua rivers in Patagonia’s southern Aysen Region XI, and would be the largest dam project ever built in Chile.

In addition to the hydroelectric cascades, the project also includes constructing 1,243 miles of electrical transmission lines to convey HidroAysen electricity to central and northern Chile.

Article by Charles Kennedy, appearing courtesy OilPrice.com.

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Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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