This hydropower project will play a pivotal role in the energy transition for Gran Canaria…

Image credit: GE

GE has been selected – in consortium with Cobra Infrastructuras Hidráulicas (Cobra) – by Red Eléctrica, the sole transmission agent and operator of the national electricity System in Spain, to deliver six Pumped Storage turbines for the 200 MW Chira Soria project in Gran Canaria, Spain. The scope of work includes the design, supply, transport, and commissioning of the turbines, generators, main transformers and electrical balance-of-plant equipment. The project is expected to come online in 2027, with an energy storage capacity of 3.5 GWh.

Among other things, the six ‘pumped storage’ units of 37 MW each will help stabilize the grid in Gran Canaria by acting as giant natural batteries: the water will be pumped from a lower reservoir to the upper reservoir in times of surplus energy and, in times of demand, water from the upper reservoir will be released, generating electricity as the water will pass through the turbine, to ultimately deliver renewable energy when needed. For this project, the water will be pumped from the sea and desalted before reaching the upper reservoir. Once completed, the power station will increase renewable energy production on the island by 37%, over the estimated energy that would be generated without the existence of this facility. It would also raise the average annual coverage of the demand using renewable generation to 51%, which at specific times may be much higher. This will lead to an additional reduction in annual CO2 emissions of 20%.

In addition, the power plant will improve the guaranteed supply for the island, by increasing the installed power capacity and strengthening the security of the electricity system. These elements are essential for an isolated electricity system, as is the case of the Canary Islands system.

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