THE smallest of the Canary Islands, El Hierro, has actually managed to generate enough electricity through its Gorona del Viento wind-hydro power station to cover all electrical needs for four hours.
This is the first time that a successful power station has been run on combined wind and hydro power. After the wind farm generates enough energy to satisfy the island’s power requirements, any excess is diverted to the station’s pumps, which raise water 700 metres so that when there is insufficient wind, the water is pushed back down into the reservoir below and the turbines produce additional power.
This has been a long process and has cost €82 million, but as the regional government and the island’s inhabitants have been spending millions of euros each year on diesel, the long-term savings could be significant.
As reported elsewhere by Euro Weekly News, the World Wide Fund for Nature has warned Spain about its need to control its greenhouse gas emissions in order to protect the coastline and this small step forward supports the overall Spanish position.