The project supports the system operator and also enables the integration of renewable energy into the El Hierro electricity system to be maximised.
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El Hierro is an island belonging to the Canary Islands that has a unique facility, the El Hierro hydro-wind power station, made up of a wind farm and a pumped-storage hydro-electric facility. Its ultimate goal is to enable the auto-sufficiency of the island with 100% renewable energy, and is designed to cover a part of the demand with wind energy and store surplus power in the form of potential energy by pumping water between two reservoirs located at different heights. The water stored in the upper reservoir will be released into the lower reservoir generating electricity in the process, and thus supply energy that can complement wind and thermal energy mix when there is insufficient wind.
The high variability of wind, and its status as a primary energy source that is hard to predict, forces the operator of Red Electrica de España’s control centre on the Canary Islands to make a huge effort to constantly and actively supervise the situation, in order to safely integrate as much wind energy as possible into the system.