GORONA DEL VIENTO EL HIERRO, S.A.
EL HIERRO, WORLD REFERENCE IN SUSTAINABILITY
The El Hierro hydroelectric plant, owned by Gorona del Viento El Hierro, S. A., integrates an wind farm with five wind turbines, two water deposits, four hydraulic turbines and a pump plant. The wind farm captures and transforms the wind energy into electricity energy. The hydraulic system functioning as a pump, accumulates the surplus energy; operating as a generator, it acts as the electricity producer and regulates the electricity system on the island.
With the appropriate wind the wind farm is able to supply the electricity demand for El Hierro that is about seven megawatts in the peak demands. The surplus energy produced by the wind turbines is used to pump water between the lower deposit and the top one, accumulated in the latter in the form of potential energy. In times of wind shortage, the energy that covers the electricity demand of the island is generated by the turbines from the hydraulic jump caused by the water dropping from the top deposit to the lower one.
This system allows for an intermittent and fluctuating source of energy to be converted into a constant electricity supply guaranteeing the stability of the island electricity network.
The environmental benefits, both from the energy point of view and for the El Hierro Hydrological Plan are vital. This small island has become a beacon of sustainability, a global reference for the use of renewable energy.
The Power Plant has avoided the consumption of 6,070 tons of diesel in 2017, which is equivalent to 40,000 barrels of oil that would have to be imported into the island, at its high cost. In addition, in the first half of 2018, Gorona has remained 1,450 hours generating 100 % of the electricity of the Island which has saved 3,700 tons of diesel and has avoided atmospheric emissions of approximately 12,100 tonnes of CO2.
Gorona del Viento is 66% owned by the El Hierro Island Council, 23 % by the company Endesa and 11% by the Canary Islands Technological Institute/Government of the Canary Islands.