Apiacás Hydro Complex Project

Helping power Brazil with clean, green, renewable power

Enel Green Power | Brazil | 2014–2016

102 MW 
installed capacity

490 GWh 
per year

World's largest 
horizontal Kaplan S upstream turbines installed


  • The Apiacás complex is a greenfield hydroelectric project that consists of a cascading sequence of three power plants—Salto Apiacás, Cabeça de Boi, and Fazenda—comprising seven 14.5 MW turbines. The total installed capacity of the complex is 102 MW.
  • This project represents the first greenfield hydro project undertaken by Italian-based Enel Green Power. The project is located in a remote area of the Amazon, requiring a full construction camp and power for construction of the project.
  • There is an increasing demand for electricity in Brazil, which is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 4%.


  • We developed the basic design of the whole complex (FEL 3) and optimized the designs of the many structures to minimize the environmental impacts, which included changing the general arrangements and types of dams based on the best balance of natural building materials and the availability of loans and quarrying areas.
  • Changing the type of dam for the Cabeça de Boi site to a rock-fill and clay core meant that work could continue in Brazil's rainy season.
  • Real-time monitoring of the topography, geology, and concrete technology was compared directly to the stability of the dam structures. This provided early information on whether any fault was starting, allowing more time to react in an effective manner and greater project certainty for owner, Enel Green Power.


  • The project uses the largest horizontal Kaplan S upstream turbines ever constructed in the world.
  • The project was precisely controlled and quanitities of materials were minimized based on an optimized design that made the most of the natural soil foundation and reduced waste during construction. This resulted in a lower than expected CAPEX for Enel Green Power.
  • A 1.2 MW standalone thin film photovoltaic solar plant was installed to provide power to the site during construction. Once the project is complete, the solar plant will remain operational and its power will be fed into the grid. 

Project numbers

US$287 million 
7 x 14.5 MW  turbines 

Related services and technologies

Water Power

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