Brazil's Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletricqa (ANEEL) has authorized commercial production from the 13th hydro turbine installed at the Santo Antonio project.
The new 73.2 MW unit will raise the Santo Antonio hydroelectric plant's output capacity to 995 MW -- still shy of the 3,150 MW the project is ultimately expected to produce when completed in November 2015.
Two additional units are currently being tested, according to the Santo Anonio Energia consortium, with another 14 to be added by the end of the year.
HydroWorld.com reported the first of Santo Antonio's 44 turbines began generating power in February 2012. Brazil's Institute of the Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA) then granted a license for its operation in October.
The US$8 billion project is part of the 6.9-GW Rio Madeira hydropower complex, which also includes the 3,750-MW Jirau hydroelectric plant.