The Lircay project, owned by Hidromaule S.A., is a run-of-river plant that use the water flow of the irrigation canal of Maule Canal Users Association. The power plant is located at the confluence of Corel estuary with Lircay river, 30 kilometers northeast of Talca, Maule Region. The plant is operational since october 2008, with an annual generation of 130 GWh.
Using a renewable natural resource such as water, this energy replaces the energy generated by thermal power plants, where the latter have higher cost and much higher polluting effects than hydropower plants due to the level of GHG emissions, among other factors. This qualifies Lircay Project as a Clean Development Mechanism in the context of the Kyoto Protocol.
As a project, the Lircay run-of-river plant is registered under the Clean Development Mechanism, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, generating an annual GHG emission reduction of 53,000 tonnes, equivalent to 53,000 carbon credits per year.