The construction of the pumped-storage hydropower station between the Soria and Chira reservoirs, which responds to these objectives, will be an essential element to progress towards the sustainability of the new energy model in the Canary Islands; a model that will offer greater security and be more efficient and respectful of the environment.

The power station will provide the Canary Islands electricity system with a tool that will allow greater guarantee of supply and greater system security, furthermore, it will open the door to the further development and use of locally available renewable energies, which in turn will reduce the dependence on external energy sources and will decrease the use of fossil fuels.

What is a pumped-storage hydropower plant?

A pumped-storage hydropower plant is an energy storage installation that has two reservoirs situated at different levels.

During hours with lower electricity consumption, water is pumped from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir where it is stored and made available for subsequent turbination in periods when energy demand is higher.

Pumping process. In the off-peak energy consumption periods, generally in the early hours of the morning, the surplus renewable energy is used to pump water to the upper reservoir where it is stored as potential energy, to be used in the turbination process.

Turbination process. The water stored in the upper reservo ir circulates through the pressurised pipes to the lower reservoir, actuating the turbines of the power plant and integrating with the previously accumulated renewable energy system. The water is stored in the lower reservoir, where it remains available to repeat the cycle.

The subsidiary Red Eléctrica Infraestructuras en Canarias (REINCAN) was created in 2015 with the aim of promoting energy storage projects in the Canary Islands. These storage projects will serve as tools for the system operator in order to guarantee supply, improve system security and optimize the integration of renewable energy in the Canary Islands.