The Chilean Supreme Court has ruled that the 155-MW La Confluencia and 155-MW La Higuera hydropower plants are operating in violation of local water use rights, HydroWorld.com has learned.
The run-of-river plants -- operated by a joint venture of Australia's Pacific Hydro and Norway's SN Power called Tinguiririca Energia -- are located in Chile's Tinguiririca Valley.
The court overturned a previous appellate court ruling that rejected an injunction filed by residents of the valley, saying Tinguiririca Energia is to "strictly comply with the technical conditions approved for the plants' operations, and to respect third parties' water rights."
The court found that La Higuera and La Confluencia have affected the Tinguiririca River's flow, which has impeded access to water for irrigation.
HydroWorld.com reported that the US$800 million project had been registered under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol in June 2011.