Milestone-Proposal talk:ITAIPU Hydroelectric Power Plant- Coming 50 years of providing clean energy

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Original Citation and Title -- Administrator4 (talk) 13:24, 28 July 2022 (UTC)

ITAIPU Hydroelectric Power Plant- Coming 40 years of providing clean energy

Engineering milestone that generates non-polluting and sustainable energy with the environment. In 2016, ITAIPU was the largest generator of electricity worldwide and contributed 90 % of the electricity used by Paraguay and 15% of that used by Brazil Itaipu also contributes to climate change mitigation and pays special attention to humanitarian aid. ITAIPU is a sample for the world as Technology is used for the benefit of the Society.

Comment E Tejera -- E.tejera (talk) 12:54, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

The proposer has indicated that a meeting was held with officals from the ITAIPU plant requesting the authorization and the process to submit he final proposal is underway. Jan 8, 2020

Comment E Tejera -- E.tejera (talk) 17:12, 2 March 2020 (UTC)

Mar-2-2020 Iformation received from the proposer indicates that they have received the approval from the plant owner and will proceed to complete the necessary information for the milestone to continue the process

Itaipu Milestone citation and sustainable energy claim -- Administrator4 (talk) 13:20, 18 March 2022 (UTC)

It is important that the claims made in the citation be accurate and fully supported, especially “…non-polluting and sustainable energy with the environment” And “…also contributes to climate change mitigation…”

Itaipu resulted in a loss of biodiversity
Itaipu flooded 1,350 square km of rainforest. Flooded forests release methane.
Itaipu Dam has altered the surrounding microclimate
The Itaipu dam displaced 59,000 people

A 2013 study showed that the Itaipu reservoir emitted more CO2 into the atmosphere than it absorbed

Microclimate change: “On an annual basis, the simulated runoff decreased by 0.3% in 2010–2040 and 2.5% in 2070–2100 with respect to the baseline period, corresponding to an expected monetary loss of 0.37 and 1.43 million US$ per month, respectively.”

Water stores solar radiation better than land. Temperature increases of 4 degrees centigrade have been recorded surrounding the reservoir.

Emilio Moran, a professor of geography and environment at Michigan State University, wrote that the Itaipu Dam resulted in a 70 percent loss of biodiversity. Review of Before the Flood: The Itaipu Dam and the Visibility of Rural Brazil by Jacob Blanc, (Duke University Press, 2019)

“Nearly 50 years after it was built, the dam is still central to criticisms of the former dictator Alfredo Stroessner’s Colorado Party,”

Re: Itaipu Milestone citation and sustainable energy claim -- E.tejera (talk) 13:48, 19 April 2022 (UTC)

I think a balance has to be evaluate when criticizing this project and the effects may had in the environment. One thing to considers is all generation from fossil fuels that this hydro generation has displaced during the year contributing to the development of activities in both Brazil and Paraguay. The intent of the Milestone Program is to recognize the impact projects and innovations made into the society. This project definitely changed the way energy was managed, specially in Brazil, the transmission connection and many other positive outcomes from its implementation.

Evaluation from reviewer Luiz Barroso -- E.tejera (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2022 (UTC)

1) Is the suggested wording of the Plaque Citation accurate? YES

2) Is the evidence presented in the proposal of sufficient substance and accuracy to support the Citation? YES

3) Does the proposed milestone represent a significant technical achievement? YES. In 1994, the American Society of Civil Engineers elected the Itaipu Dam as one of the seven modern Wonders of the World. In the period 2012–2021, the Itaipu Dam maintained the second highest average annual hydroelectric production in the world, delivering clear and reliable energy to Brazil and Paraguay.

For the reviewer credentials please go to

Evaluation from reviewer Jorge Fernandez -- Jdaher (talk) 12:55, 12 June 2022 (UTC)

1) Is the suggested wording of the Plaque Citation accurate? Yes, it is.

2) Is the evidence presented in the proposal of sufficient substance and accuracy to support the Citation? Yes, the information is accurate enough.

3) Does the proposed milestone represent a significant technical achievement? Yes, it is a very important project in this region.

ITAIPU Hydroelectric Power Plant citation wording -- Amy Bix (talk) 17:32, 23 September 2022 (UTC)

I absolutely agree that the ITAIPU hydroelectric plant is worthy of an IEEE milestone citation. And I appreciate what Enrique wrote about the tradeoff with fossil fuels. However, I believe it is essential to be mindful of just how widely and deeply serious questions and concerns have been voiced about the full environmental impacts of this project, plus some charges of serious political and social concerns (see the post before Enrique's; and many more sources illustrating this academic and popular dispute can be cited). I believe that our committee should be very careful to avoid any appearance of ignoring these issues, and thus, we should avoid any plaque implying that ITAIPU is an environmental wonder - since the full story is more complicated than that (as most histories, sciences, and politics are). As I understand it, IEEE dedicated part of its focus this last year to climate change, so it might spur a nasty backlash and social-media controversy if our committee approved a citation seemingly endorsing Itaipu as an unquestioned advance in environmental issues, when climate claims remain both complex and debatable.

To "stay in our lane" and avoid drawing IEEE into what could be a very tricky debate, I suggest re-writing this citation to emphasize the value of Itaipu as an engineering achievement, with a milestone citation that highlights the electrical engineering achievements (generators, power transmission, etc.), rather than the disputed environmental impact. I also wonder about putting in details such as the 92%/8% energy-use split (and I have seen different numbers elsewhere), since this plaque is meant to stand for decades, and something like this might shift over time. Might I suggest something like:

Construction of the ITAIPU Dam began in 1971 as a joint venture between Brazil and Paraguay. When power generation started in 1984, ITAIPU set a record for the largest installed hydroelectric capacity (14 GW). From 1984 through 2020, ITAIPU annually produced greater amounts of energy than any other world hydroelectric project. Linking power plants, substations, and transmission lines in both Brazil and Paraguay, ITAIPU's system provided more reliable, affordable energy to consumers and industry.

Re: ITAIPU Hydroelectric Power Plant citation wording -- Jbart64 (talk) 19:27, 27 September 2022 (UTC)

Hi- I agree with Amy Bix, we should try to avoid the debate over the social focus or the environmental claims and counterclaims. The opening sentences of the statement on the historical significance summarize the engineering achievement: "ITAIPU was for a long time the hydroelectric plant with the largest installed capacity in the world with its 14,000 MW, today only surpassed by the Chinese hydroelectric plant of Three Gorges, in addition, ITAIPU held the world record for annual energy generation until 2019 with 103,000 GWh annually and only in 2020 was it surpassed by the same Chinese plant." This should be the undisputed focus of the Milestone. The political significance of ITAIPU's use by multiple countries is very important, but the engineering achievement is the size. The environmental issues and ramifications are not uncommon concerns relating to all dams, and ITAIPU's size makes those issues larger in scale as do any allegations about management of these issues, but again, the engineering achievement is the focus of the Milestone. So, I agree with the narrower intent of the language proposed by Amy, subject to any other edits from the committee and the proposer. Dave Bart

Re: ITAIPU Hydroelectric Power Plant citation wording -- E.tejera (talk) 02:25, 7 October 2022 (UTC)

Eventhou the Itaipu power plant really made an impact and saved a lot of contamination replacing fuel generation with clean one in both Brazil and Paraguay, I have to agree that the orientation of the Milestone as an environmental achievement may not be taken positively by some people. The proposer has been informed and asked to re-orient the citation to the technical achievement. Regarding if the plant had the largest capacity in a single installation when it was put in service, that is not questionable. James Bay that was mentioned as one with more capacity, is a complex of 11 hydroelectric plants where all together add a large amount but individually are not even rank in the 10 largest around the world.