In a game of ambivalent power, the Rapel Power Plant reveals itself as a technical and aesthetically beautiful machine, which makes the transport of energy invisible behind an apparently natural element, Lake Rapel.
The Rapel power plant is located in the community of Litueche, in the Region of Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins, a little more than 120 km southwest of Santiago. The plant uses the waters of the Rapel River and those of the Cachapoal, Tinguiririca and Teno to create an artificial reservoir whose concrete vault is crowned by a public road. The road also serves as a viewpoint from which to observe this energy infrastructure and the water it contains.
In a certain sense, the plant, active since 1968, makes visible the declared power of 377 MW with the configuration of an artificial lake that becomes a monument to the support and transmission of energy: the Rapel. It is this ambiguous game of apparent coronation of a slice of nature – which is not actually such – that determines our conviction that the Rapel power plant is inserted harmonically in the landscape and that its turbines contribute to its conservation by making the transport of energy invisible. The machine, on the other hand, is technically and aesthetically beautiful and set to show the origin of the landscape that it feeds.
Information in Endesa Chile (2016) <www.endesa.cl/es/conocenos/nuestroNegocio/centrales/Paginas/centralrapel.aspx>