El Hierro breaks new clean energy record

parque-eolico-1024x685The pioneering hydro-wind power plant on the western-most Canary Island of El Hierro has once again set a record integrating renewable energy into the island’s electricity grid having continuously powered all of the island’s demand for longer than 55 hours utilising only clean energy sources.

A note from the Cabildo reminded the press that the previous achievement was 44 hours, however from 23:29 last Sunday until 6:52 am on Wednesday, Gorona Wind (Gorona del Viento) supplied one hundred percent of the electricity for the island, which has saved 83 tons of fuel and prevented the emission of more than 240 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere during this period.

The president of Gorona del Viento and the Cabildo de El Hierro, Bethlehem Allende, said he was pleased with this new record because the plant is a project with great innovative character and was gradually improving saying that the ability “to maintain the stability and security of the insular renewable electricity grid is only a technical challenge.”

The Cabildo said that so far this year, the plant has supplied 54 percent of the electricity for the island, a significant fact said Allende because the Gorona del Viento system had only been in operation for just over a year.

Each hour of total electricity supply replaced with renewables on El Hierro saves 1.5 tons of fuel and prevents 3.2 tons of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere.

Since the plant began operating in June 2015, more than 4,500 tons of fuel has been saved and 13,000 tons of carbon dioxide has been prevented from being emitted into the atmosphere.

In August 2015, the plant demonstrated for the first time that it was possible to achieve one of the primary objectives for which it the project was conceived; maximizing the use of natural resources to maintain an insular (island wide) grid using only renewables, the Cabildo note added.

Using a pioneering combination of wind, an intermittent source, with a hydraulic circuit, providing constancy capable of regulating variations in wind power, to integrate renewables into a small isolated system,  the plant has been shown to be able to cover the entire normal energy demand for the island.

Allende made clear that to achieve 100 percent of the annual electricity supply and demand with renewables is a long-term goal but the technology already works and he emphasises that when system performance has been optimised, it should be possible to increase the threshold to 70 percent of annual supply & demand, which is the current reachable technical capabilities  of the centre.

Source: 100% for 55 hours

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