The Engenheiro José Mendes Júnior Hydroelectric Power Plant, or Funil Plant, which since March, 2015 has fully belonged to Aliança Energia, is located on the Rio Grande, in southern Minas Gerais, between the municipalities of Perdões and Lavras. The Funil Plant has an installed capacity of 180MW with 89 MW of assured average energy in operation. This is enough energy to supply a city of 500,000 inhabitants.
The Funil Plant was built in a record 33 months and its first generating unit went into commercial operation within 27 months of implementation. The construction began in September, 2000, and ended in July, 2003, with the delivery of the third generating unit.
The plant was the first in Brazil to install the Fish Transposition System (STP). The structure is intended to ensure the continuity of the migration process of fish species in the Rio Grande. The fish elevator went into operation in January, 2004, and has already transported more than 1,000 metric tons of fish.
- 1990: Preparation of the Environmental Impact Study (EIA) and Environmental Impact Report (RIMA)
- Dec/1994: Granting of the Preliminary License (LP)
- Jun/2000: Establishment of the Entrepreneurial Consortium AHE Funil
- Sept/2000: Granting of the Installation License (LI) and beginning of construction
- Nov/2002: Granting of the Operating License (LO)
- Jan/2003: Operation of the first generating unit
- Jun/2003: Operation of the second generating unit
- Jul/2003: Operation of the third generating unit
- Mar/2015: Integration with Aliança Geração de Energia S.A.
The formation of the Funil Plant reservoir covers an area of 32 km, and within this perimeter three communities located on the banks of the Rio Grande were relocated: Ponte do Funil, Pedra Negra, and Macaia.
The procedure to relocate each community was conducted by means of a Settlement Agreement, signed between the parties involved. The dialogue process involved, in addition to the local population, government representatives of the affected municipalities.
Construction to implement the new communities began in November, 2001, and was completed in October, 2002, initiating a new phase in the local population’s history.
The Funil Plant contributes to the Brazilian electric system, reaffirming its social and environmental commitment to the region it covers. Check out some of our socio-environmental programs.
- Economic Reactivation
The basic premise of the Economic Reactivation Program is collectively organized work. The program is directed to groups that organized themselves spontaneously at the time of the construction of the plant. The Associations monitored by the Funil Plant’s social team are:
– Ponte do Funil Cooperative Fisheries – COOPERFUNIL
– Ponte do Funil Artisans’ Association – ARTEFUNIL
– Ponte do Funil Rancher’s Association– AGROFUNIL
– São José da Pedra Negra Sweets Association – Delícias da Estação (Seasonal Delicacies)
- Integration with local institutions
The Funil Plant acts in a participatory manner with the local communities. Throughout the year, various activities are developed in partnership with local institutions, with the goal of benefitting the population and raising awareness of social, environmental, and cultural issues.
- Visiting Program
The Funil Plant’s doors are open to the local population and to those interested in expanding their knowledge on the region’s biodiversity and the hydroelectric project.
Visitors receive information on the environmental recovery and preservation activities developed by the Funil Plant, and have the opportunity to discover how the Fish Transposition System (STP) works, also known as the fish elevator. The itinerary also includes an explanation on the operation of the Funil Plant. Visitors learn, for example, that the biggest advantage of hydroelectric power plants is the clean transformation of natural resources into electrical energy.
- Recovery of degraded areas
The Funil Plant has already recovered more than 117 hectares in the vicinity of its reservoir. More than 41,000 saplings native to the Atlantic Rainforest have already been planted in the seven municipalities within the project’s area of coverage.
In addition, since 2005, the Funil Plant has been monitoring erosion on the banks of the reservoir. The goal of the program is to identify, diagnose, and implement measures for the rehabilitation of these areas through soil bioengineering techniques.
- Protection of springs
At the Funil Plant, protecting springs is a constant concern of our environmental programs. Since its implementation, more than 141 springs have been protected or recovered. Actions such as these are important to ensure the supply and quality of this natural resource.
- Fish Transposition System (STP)
The Fish Transposition System (STP) was implemented at the Funil Plant to allow the continuity of the migration and reproduction process of various fish species. The STP consists of four main parts: the collection channel, mechanical elevator, exit channel (or elevated chute), and auxiliary water system.
- Fish Monitoring
Fish monitoring began during the implementation of the Funil Plant. The goal is to characterize the structure of the fish community in the plant’s area of influence, obtaining relevant information on the ecology of the most frequents species of the Rio Grande and its tributaries.
In the STP, the monitoring has been performed since 2004. The study includes the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the structure of the fish community using the system, through the characterization of the composition and wealth, assessment of the biomass, and number of fish transposed. During this process, actions have been developed to maximize the use and operation of the system, and thus provide data for the evaluation of its efficiency.