Endesa is planning a new business project for the construction of a pumping station in the vicinity of As Pontes’s reservoir. A facility that would use the wind energy in excess produced during off-peak periods, pumping water into a reservoir to then re-use it in hydroelectric production. This would avoid that surplus wind energy production of wind farms installed in the vicinity, be exported mainly to France, as occurs at present.
Endesa already has a preliminary draft considering the possibility of creating a plant between 300 and 600 megawatts of
power with an investment of at least 300 million euros. It would be installed in the vicinity of the Meidelo river conveyance to the new reservoir, although so far the implementation of this action has barely got off the ground. It has not yet been approved in the board of directors of the country’s first utility, but the prevailing expectations among responsibles for managing the company in As Pontes are good.
Although the volume of investment is high, its cost about one million euros per megawatt installed compared to the 1.8 M to 2M in other technologies, is reasonable according to what Jose Antonio Menendez Chief Engineer of the Pontes mine explained yesterday.
As Pontes can rely on several pros to capture this project: in addition to the industrial culture and specifically energy-related, the evacuation lines required to deliver production to the grid are already present.
This project is estimated to take at least five years to be realized. Administrative proceedings, heavy in this type of investments, would consume much of this period.
The system operator Red Electrica de España, has insisted in recent years on the desirability of implementing this type of plant. The growing weight of renewable in the country’s energy generation basket requires additional backup facilities, ready to fill the gaps left when there is no wind or during network outages. Pumping together with the combined cycle plants are ideal solutions for this purpose.