Chira-Soria: a project to guarantee the supply in the Canary Islands

The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism and Red Eléctrica have met to discuss this project, considered a key piece in the new Canary Islands’ energy model, and which has an investment of around 300 million euros.

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Red Eléctrica de España today met the acting Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria, to discuss the progress of the Chira-Soria reversible pumping station project on the island of Gran Canaria.

The Executive Chairman of Red Eléctrica de España, José Folgado, and the CEO of the Company, John Lasala, explained the project, which is currently in the permitting stage, and which includes the construction of a 200 MW pumped-storage hydroelectric station, and its connection to the Santa Águeda substation via a 220 kV electricity line, with an investment of around 300 million euros. This infrastructure is a key element in the implementation of the new energy model in the Canary Islands in the coming years, which is based on renewable energies and interconnections between islands.

The hand-over of the project to Red Eléctrica de España, 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 guarantee security of supply, system security and the integration of non-manageable renewable energies. This involves reviewing the technical solution in a way that also is consistent with the project currently in the permitting stage.

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.

In the near future, after completion of the necessary permitting elements with the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, Red Eléctrica will meet with regional, insular and local officials to explain the changes and improvements proposed, in order to obtain the necessary authorisations, in addition to requesting the declaration of strategic interest for the installation.

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.