Red Eléctrica, by way of its subsidiary in the the Canary Islands, REINCAN, has awarded the design and engineering services for the construction project, as well as the technical assistance and construction management of the Soria-Chira pumped-storage hydroelectric power station, to be built on the island of Gran Canaria, to ‘UTE Ingeniería Soria-Chira’, a consortium formed by AIN Active S.L.U. and Amberg Engineering AG, for an amount totalling around 20 million euros.
The main specialised engineering companies at national, European and international level took part in the tender process, in accordance with the specifications stipulated in the tender notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union last November. The contract covers the drafting of the purchase specifications of all the packages tendered, as well as the technical assistance and construction management up to the moment it is commissioned.
This is one of the largest engineering services contracts signed in the Canary Islands to date and by means of which Red Eléctrica consolidates the investment of 39.4 million euros already made in the project, and demonstrates the Company’s firm commitment to the project.
In addition, in June the extended timeline allocated for the geotechnical campaign concluded, representing an investment of 1.5 million euros; the scope of campaign included explorations, surveys, geophysic studies and tests which were carried out at different depths in order to determine the geological and geotechnical characteristics of the terrain in further detail. Thanks to these studies and surveys, the best possible field information has been obtained regarding the location where the underground power station is to be built.
Key project for the new energy model in the Canary Islands
The Soria-Chira pumped-storage hydroelectric power station will be a key infrastructure in order to advance towards the achievement of the new energy model in the Canary Islands, based on renewable energies, interconnections between islands, the large-scale storage of energy and an electricity grid that is increasingly bigger and better meshed. All of these elements will contribute to helping maximise the integration of non-polluting renewable energy sources and provide all end-users with energy that is more secure and increased guarantee of supply.
This power station, which will reach a power level of 200 megawatts, representing around 36% of the current peak demand of Gran Canaria, has an investment that will exceed 320 million euros. The project includes the construction of a seawater desalination plant and the associated marine works, as well as the necessary facilities for its connection to the transmission grid in order to be able to evacuate such energy into the system. Once commissioned, the pumped-storage power station will be able to store, by pumping water upstream from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir, surplus renewable generation when this type of energy generation cannot be integrated due to its high availability. Thus, it will be possible to subsequently use this stored energy at times of lower renewable generation. All this will be done in addition to providing security for the electricity system, avoiding the loss of renewable energy and therefore maximising the integration of this type of energy into the electricity system on Gran Canaria.
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