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El Hierro Island, ES - Wind Hydro Pumped Storage Power Plant
Time period: 2005 - 2014
Theme of collaboration: Developing
s...
Partners involved – Governance
 Council of El Hierro Island (Cabildo of El Hierro, Insular authority)
 The Canary Island...
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El Hierro island, ES. Wind and hydro pumped storage power plant

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The El Hierro project was a successful multi-level governance project aiming to transform the El Hierro Island into the first energy-isolated territory in the world able to power itself entirely from renewable energy sources. In order to reach this objective, both national and local authorities and a private company (Endesa) built a large wind - hydro power plant, with a very innovative system of energy
accumulation in water basins at the top of the mountains.
Thanks to this innovative system, the public-private company created to manage the system, Gorona del Viento El Hierro S.A., can tackle the problems related to the intermittency of renewable energy production.

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El Hierro island, ES. Wind and hydro pumped storage power plant

  1. 1. El Hierro Island, ES - Wind Hydro Pumped Storage Power Plant Time period: 2005 - 2014 Theme of collaboration: Developing sustainable energy plans/Engaging stakeholders in energy plans Application: Renewable energy production Topic: Joint planning of sectoral actions/ Awareness raising initiative Description The El Hierro project was a successful multi-level governance project aiming to transform the El Hierro Island into the first energy-isolated territory in the world able to power itself entirely from renewable energy sources. In order to reach this objective, both national and local authorities and a private company (Endesa) built a large wind- hydro power plant, with a very innovative system of energy accumulation in water basins at the top of the mountains. Thanks to this innovative system, the public-private company created to manage the system, Gorona del Viento El Hierro S.A., can tackle the problems related to the intermittency of renewable energy production. Context / Background The Island of El Hierro is the smallest island of the Canary archipelago. The wind-hydro power plant project is contained in the El Hierro Sustainability Plan, approved on 27th November 1997 by the Council (“Cabildo”) of the Island. The idea for a wind-hydro plant had been backed up by the “White Paper for a Community Strategy Action Plan” where there is a precise reference to a 100% renewable energy-based territory. The Island Sustainability Plan was definitively approved on 17th June 2002. Now, since mid-2014, the Island is a sustainability energy model for the whole region. Financing & costs The project cost amounts to approximately € 80 M. For this investment, subsidies set forth in the General State Budget (€ 35 M) were transferred to the IDAE ((Institute for Diversification and Saving of Energy) as nominative subsidies to be granted to “Gorona del Viento El Hierro, S.A”. The rest of the cost is covered by the shareholders: the Council of El Hierro, ENDESA S.A., and the Canary Islands Institute of Technology (ITC). Upper reservoir Key results As from 2014, El Hierro Island is the first energy-isolated territory in the world able to power itself entirely from renewable energy sources, thanks to a multi-level governance partnership!
  2. 2. Partners involved – Governance  Council of El Hierro Island (Cabildo of El Hierro, Insular authority)  The Canary Islands Government, through the Canary Islands Institute of Technology (ITC);  Endesa S.A. (largest electric utility company in Spain)  IDAE Institute for Diversification and Saving of Energy  Gorona del Viento El Hierro, S.A. In 2007 the General Director of the Institute for Diversification Energy Saving (IDAE), the President of the El Hierro Council, in representation of the project developer and Gorona del Viento El Hierro S.A., signed the agreement whereby the mechanisms for the provision of public funding are defined. Today “Gorona del Viento S.A.” is owned at 60% by the Council of El Hierro, at 30% by Endesa S.A. and at 10% by the Canary Islands Institute of Technology. The technical partners (IDAE and ITC) had a very important consultancy role. This institutional architecture allows the survival of the MLG collaboration beyond the timeframe of the project. Results achieved The wind-hydro system consists of a wind farm (11.5 MW), two water reservoirs, a pumping unit, a hydropower plant and a seawater desalination plant. The Wind-Pumped Hydro Power Station is as of 2014 completed and almost ready to start operating. Lessons learned & Success factors This project’s main success factor is related to the involvement in the project of a wide range of partners, both political and technical (effective partnership, structured governance). This technical-political collaboration enabled technologically innovative results, in particular the collaboration with the Endesa S.A. company. The experience of El Hierro demonstrates that it is in effect very possible to achieve energy self-sufficiency using renewable energy sources in certain areas such as small mountainous islands and isolated rural areas. It also teaches us that the process of replacing energy sources should be accompanied by the development of a culture of energy savings and energy efficiency through new models of governance. Wind farm Contact Gorona DEL VIENTO EL HIERRO www.goronadelviento.es

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