A closer step has been taken towards the final project assignment of the Chira-Soria hydro plant project in Gran Canaria from Endesa to Red Eléctrica. Thus, the project that never saw a start for the last four years finally ends. Its budget accounting to 250 million euro will slightly increase because Endesa will take 11.2 million euro for costs incurred in the project to date.
Red Eléctrica and Endesa have finally signed an agreement under which, as provided by the Ministry of Industry on April 28 2014, Endesa transfers to Red Eléctrica the project of the 200 MW Chira -Soria reversible hydroelectric plant facilities in Gran Canaria, amounting to 11.2 million euro for costs incurred on the project to date. The total investment of the facilities could amount to some 300 million euro.
A nonexistent plant
As we already reported in 2011 Endesa was awarded the construction of a 200 MW hydroelectric plant after winning a competition organized by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria where only this company submitted an offer. It was conceived to harness the energy produced by wind farms on the island in non- demand moments, by pumping water at its upper dam. But it just remained a mere thought.
Now, driven from the central and regional administrations, the project, which is in the pipeline, comprises the construction of a reversible pumping station and the plant connection to the Santa Águeda substation through a 220 kilovolts power line. It also includes a 25-year concession expandable to 50 on water reservoirs for hydroelectric purposes.
This plant could be key to fostering the growth of renewable energy in Gran Canaria and to providing greater security and stability to the power supply on the island, because it depends almost exclusively on Endesa’s two power plants (Jinámar and Barranco de Tirajana) fed by fossil fuels.
Red Eléctrica and Endesa have agreed to streamline administrative procedures, highlighting the change of ownership for the concession that the Board for Water of Gran Canaria had awarded to Endesa for the construction and operation of a hydroelectric power plant between Chira and Soria dams.
The pumping station will not be used as a generation facility, but as a tool used by the system operator to assure stability and security of electricity supply. On the other hand, it will be one of Red Eléctrica’s major projects over the coming years, as it will provide an essential infrastructure for integration of renewables in the island and to contribute to a new energy model in the Canaries that is more environmentally sustainable and more economically efficient.
This Chira-Soria hydroelectric plant will become a 200 megawatts (MW) pumping station, with a 25 years concession on the water in the Chira and Soria reservoirs, extendable for another 25 years, which also involves the construction of a power plant with a connection to the Santa Águeda electrical power substation.