The CEO of Red Eléctrica de España, Juan Lasala, has held meetings with the Regional Minister for Economy, Industry, Trade and Knowledge of the Canary Islands, Pedro Ortega, and the President of the Island Council of Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, to discuss the progress of the Chira-Soria reversible pumping station project on the island of Gran Canaria and the possibility of declaring it as a project of strategic interest.
The project, which is in the permitting process, includes the construction of a 200 MW hydroelectric pumping power station, and its connection to the Santa Águeda substation via a 220 kV electricity line. The new infrastructure will represent an investment of around 300 million euros and the creation of 2,000 jobs, 500 of which will be direct. This project is a key element for the implementation in the coming years of the new energy model in the Canary Islands, based on renewable energies and interconnections between islands.
The hand-over of the project to Red Eléctrica, as set out in Law 17/2013 of 29 October and Ministerial Order IET/728/2014, entails the need to adapt the project for a power station initially designed for generation to its new role as a tool for the system operator to ensure security of supply, safety of the system and the integration of non-manageable renewable energies.
Red Eléctrica has sought the most innovative solutions regarding technology and construction to maximise the efficiency of the electricity system, which will allow this complex project to become a technological reference in the field of energy storage. In the study conducted, the Company has identified numerous aspects that can be improved to minimise the environmental impact on the area, and other measures to increase the social value of the project.
One such solution is a new 2.8 km access road from the town of Las Filipinas up to a 2-kilometre tunnel leading to the underground hydroelectric station. This solution eliminates the social and environmental impact on the existing road, while increasing safety in the operations for the transportation of construction materials.
The project includes other improvements on the environment such as the restoration of an area adjacent to the new desalination plant in order to facilitate its future use for sports activities. Also, a cycle path will be built on the 14.5 kilometres of the desalinated water canal.
In order to achieve maximum social consensus on the project and the desire to maintain the highest level of information transparency, Red Eléctrica will hold different communication activities regarding the project aimed at all stakeholders and society.
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