The Choloma project which generates 9.7MW located in northeastern Guatemala on the slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains earned a National Recognition Award in the American Council of Engineering Companies. The National Recognition Award is a prestigious distinction honouring projects that demonstrate exceptional achievement in engineering.  Gilkes was proud to be part of this innovative project. Our involvement included the design and manufacture of a horizontal twin-jet Pelton turbine.

A unique design approach was necessary to collect water from six small intakes and transport it to one large water storage tank that serves as the intake reservoir for the project. Engineers from the USA, Guatemala, and Gilkes in the UK, collaborated to make the design work.  All the component parts, which came from all over the world had to fit together and operate correctly once they arrived at the project site. It was a truly international effort, made possible by the ability to coordinate and communicate effectively worldwide using Internet resources.

Construction work created much needed employment for over 400 local workers for a year, injecting much needed cash into the severely depressed local economy. Ten permanent full time jobs were also created. The completed project not only helps the local residents but provides a reduction in green house gas production by offsetting burning of coal and petroleum products which are two major sources of electricity in Guatemala. The Choloma Project is a strong example of how engineering innovation, cooperation and coordination can be used to create a unique project that is economic whilst at the same time providing real benefits to the local residents as well as the global environment.



  • 1425mm Twin Jet Pelton Turbine
  • Inlet valve
  • Generator
  • Hydraulic system
  • Cooling water system
  • Lube oil system
  • PLC control panel
  • Speed governor
  • Generator switchgear
  • AC / DC systems and distribution
  • Main power transformer
  • Supervision of installation
  • Commissioning / start-up and testing

Key Stats

  • Commissioned 2011
  • Power 9557 kW
  • Net Head 438 M
  • Flow 2500 l/s
  • Turbine Twin Jet Pelton