The operational improvements recently introduced and the result of the collaboration between Red Eléctrica and the Gorona del Viento hydroelectric power station have enabled the island of El Hierro to have covered 100% of its electricity demand between January 25 and February 12 with renewable energy.
The Gorona del Viento hydro-wind power station, operated by Red Eléctrica, has now become a key element for the integration of renewable generation on the island of El Hierro. The Soria-Chira pumped-storage hydroelectric power station will have a similar positive impact regarding the integration of renewables on the island of Gran Canaria. This project for the Canary Islands, designed and developed by Red Eléctrica as a tool for the operation of the electricity system of Gran Canaria, will be an essential part of the new energy model in the Canary Islands.
To date, the electricity demand of the island of El Hierro has been covered with 100% renewable energy for a total of 1,974 hours, a situation that occurred for the first time on August 9, 2015 and lasted for 2 hours. So far in 2018, wind energy has avoided the need to use polluting technologies in the coverage of the demand for a little more than 560 hours.
In 2017, 46.5% of the generation came from renewable sources
The close collaboration between Red Eléctrica and Gorona del Viento also enabled renewable power generation on the island of El Hierro coming from this plant to reach 20,234 MWh and cover 46.5% of the demand for 2017, which represents an increase of 5.8 percentage points over the previous year and, therefore, establishes a new all-time high.
Gorona del Viento began to operate at full capacity in July 2015 and, since then, it has been a fundamental part for the integration of renewable generation in the El Hierro electricity system. Although in 2015 the plant was only fully operational in the second half of the year, the share of renewables in the coverage of annual demand reached 19.2%, while in 2016, its first full year of operation, demand coverage capacity reached 40.7%. Noteworthy is the fact that in 2014, renewable energy accounted for only 2.3% of the island's electricity demand.
July 2017 was the month in which the renewable generation of El Hierro contributed its largest share in the coverage of the island’s electricity demand, 79.4% of the monthly total. Since it was commissioned, Gorona del Viento has made it possible to reduce the emission of CO2 by nearly 30,000 tonnes.
Red Eléctrica, as operator of the national electricity system, and Gorona del Viento, as the owner of the facility, collaborate in the analysis of the operation of the power station and the integration of its renewable generation on the island, which in 2017 made it possible to identify some improvement actions aimed at making this island evermore sustainable.
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