Cerrón Grande Dam

Cerrón Grande Hydroelectric Dam
Official nameCentral Hidroeléctrica Cerrón Grande
LocationChalatenango (El Salvador)
Coordinates13°56′24.3″N 88°54′01.3″W / 13.940083°N 88.900361°W / 13.940083; -88.900361
Opening date1976
Dam and spillways
ImpoundsLempa River
Height90 m
Length800 m
CreatesEmbalse Cerrón Grande
Total capacity2,180 million m³
Surface area135 km²
Official nameEmbalse Cerrón Grande
Designated22 November 2005
Reference no.1592[1]

The Cerrón Grande Hydroelectric Dam (Spanish: Central Hidroeléctrica Cerrón Grande) spans the Lempa River 78 km (48 mi) north of San Salvador in the municipalities of Potonico, (Chalatenango) and Jutiapa (Cabañas) in El Salvador.

The concrete gravity dam has a height of 90 m (300 ft) and a length of 800 m (2,600 ft). The dam's reservoir has a surface area of 135 km2 (52 sq mi) and a capacity of 2,180,000 cubic metres (77,000,000 cu ft).[2]

The hydroelectric power plant was fitted with 2 x 67.5 MWe Francis turbines with a total capacity of 135 Mwe. Major maintenance work carried out between 2003 and 2007 included replacing the turbines with 2 x 85 MWe units with a total capacity of 170 MWe, which generate 488 GWh per year.[2]

Cerrón Grande Reservoir

The Cerrón Grande Reservoir (Spanish: Embalse Cerrón Grande), locally known as Lake Suchitlán, is the largest body of fresh water in El Salvador.[3][4] In 2005, the reservoir and approximately 470 km2 (180 sq mi) of adjacent area was listed as a "Wetland of International Importance" under the Ramsar Convention. The area provides a habitat for large numbers of waterbird, duck and fish species.[5][6]


Because of the construction of the Cerron Grande Hydroelectric Dam, over 13,000 people were displaced with many cantons or townships, caserios or hamlets, churches, cemeteries, and over 20 significant archaeological sites being lost in the process including Canton El Tablon and Canton San Juan in Suchitoto, Cuscatlan.[7][8][9]

See also


  1. ^ "Embalse Cerrón Grande". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Central Hidroeléctrica Cerrón Grande". Comisión Ejecutiva Hidroeléctrica del Río Lempa (CEL). Retrieved 2009-05-04.
  3. ^ "Descripción de embalses de El Salvador" (PDF). Organismo Internacional Regional de Sanidad Agropecuaria (OIRSA). 2005. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
  4. ^ "Water Resources Assessment of El Salvador" (PDF). United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). 1998. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-10-24. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
  5. ^ "The Annotated Ramsar List: El Salvador". Ramsar.org. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Ramsar Sites Database". Ramsar.org. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  7. ^ Barrientos, Luis (2014). "Cerron Grande: Un Proyecto Sin Historia". WordPress. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  8. ^ Alejandra (2014). "Las Aguas del Lago Suchitlan". WordPress. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  9. ^ Fowler, William R. (1985). "Settlement Patterns and Prehistory of the Paraiso Basin of El Salvador". Journal of Field Archaeology. 12: 19–32. doi:10.1179/009346985791169571 – via Maney Publishing.

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