Bolivia Project

Since 1962, NRECA International has developed dozens of rural electrification projects throughout Bolivia. One of the very first projects that NRECA International undertook was the establishment of an the Cooperativa de Rural de Electrificación Ltda. (CRE), which serves more than 300,000 consumer members and is now one of the largest rural electric cooperatives in the world.

NRECA International continues to electrify rural communities in Bolivia through funding from USAID and, more recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food for Progress program. At least 25 percent of the Bolivian distribution system development has been supported by NRECA International funding and expertise.

In the Cochabamba Valleys, one of the most populated rural areas of the country, NRECA International has successfully implemented 27 grid extension projects serving electric water pumps; significantly improving the income and providing access to reliable electricity to a number of rural families. Also, NRECA International has devolved a 16-project feasibility study for CRE, comprising a 2,000 km extension of the rural grid around the large territory of the Santa Cruz Department.

The USDA New Institution (Three Cooperatives) will be completed in December 2010 which includes over 120km of interconnecting 24.9kV lines and upgrade and rehabilitation to three urban grids in the cattle-farming area of the Beni Department.

A new USDA irrigation program, Cochabamba Power and Light Company (ELFEC), includes seven projects in Phase I which will be completed December 2010. A Phase II program is under review, which includes 21 new grid extensions to serve water pumps in the Cochabamba rural area and this program is being planned for 2011. The ELFEC Revolving Fund Project will focus on the construction of a new 34.5/19.9kV feeder to serve the new industrial area of Villa Tunari, the capital city of the Cochabamba Tropical Region.

ENDE (The Bolivian Federal Power Co.) has requested NRECA International support for the final design of a new line (34.5 kV, 210km long) to link the city of Santa Ana (Beni) to the new San Ignacio Substation, a node of the recently commissioned 115kV Line belonging to the National Interconnected System.

Program Accomplishments

  • Expansion of the electricity grid to serve more than 10,000 new consumers in 350 villages of the Yungas valley
  • Electrification of more than 3,500 households in the Department of Potosi
  • Electrification of 27 villages and more than 1,500 households in the Department of Beni
  • Electrification of three  isolated cities in the Beni Central Region (USDA New Institution Project), including 2,000 new meters and service drops
  • Provision of electric service to more than 5,000 people in the Department of Cochabamba
  • Installation of 27 grid extensions to serve rural water pumps for irrigation in the Cochabamba Valley
  • Installation of more than 1,500 solar PV home systems

Funding Partners