January 14 (Renewables Now) - Renewables met 54% of the total electricity demand on the Spanish island of El Hierro in 2019, thanks in part to the Gorona del Viento wind power-based pumped-hydro system which pushed the figure close to 100% in July.
The power station on the smallest of the Canary Islands succeeded in covering 100% of the local demand for almost 25 days in a row between July 13 and August 7, beating its own 18-day record achieved in 2018.
In July alone, Gorona del Viento supplied 97% of electricity for the island’s needs.
The company that runs the power station, Gorona del Viento El Hierro SA, said on Monday that last year’s 54% renewables share meant that the island saved almost 7,000 tonnes of fuel and avoided the emission of 23,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Apart from an 11.5-MW wind farm whose five turbines feed electricity into the hydro storage system, the facility has a backup diesel engine which is put into operation when neither water nor wind can produce enough to meet the demand.
The company also noted that renewables were better at meeting the demand well into the second half of the year compared to the same months of 2018. After a year-on-year slump in January and February 2019, the Gorona del Viento started increasing monthly generation towards the end of the year.