Image used for illustrative purpose only. Photo courtesy Iberdrola
2 minutes read

Iberdrola authorized to build 275 MW Valdecañas pumped storage in Spain

The 275 MW Valdecañas pumped storage project in Cáceres, Spain, has received administrative authorization from the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge.

This project, being developed by Iberdrola, will improve the Tagus River’s energy potential by seasonally storing the system’s surplus energy in the Valdecañas reservoir, according to a release.

It will have a total capacity of 275 MW and include a battery system hybridized with the hydro generator units. The 15 MW battery can provide 7.5 MWh of stored energy when fully charged. The battery and hydropower units together have an energy reserve of 210 GWh.

The capacity of a reversible pumped-storage power plant allows large amounts of energy to be stored and released quickly, which facilitates balancing the electricity grid because the plant acts as a “giant battery.” This provides “large-scale” resilience to demand-generation fluctuations and a long service life, Iberdrola said.

The company stressed that this project has a minimal impact, as the scope is exclusively electromechanical and does not require the construction of any civil infrastructure. It makes use of existing infrastructure and the Valdecañas and Torrejón reservoirs, without changing operating levels. In addition, there is no need to build new transmission network lines, as the existing ones are used.

Implementation of this pumped storage project will reduce 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year thanks to the greater integration of renewables, Iberdrola said. In addition, it will create 165 direct jobs and another 500 indirect jobs. It will also have a major impact on the economy of the area, with the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in the province of Cáceres.

The pumped storage project uses cutting-edge technological solutions by using a hybrid battery system, allowing rapid start-up of the units in pump mode, as well as optimizing the capacity to regulate generation or demand for the integration of renewable energies into the electricity system by combining the rapid response of the battery with the energy firmness of the turbine.

This project is part of Iberdrola’s commitment to hydroelectric storage. In the Tagus basin, construction of a 440 MW pumped hydroelectric generation facility called Alcántara II is also in the pipeline.

Iberdrola also has commissioned the Gouvaes Gigabattery in Portugal, with a capacity of 880 MW and a storage capacity of 24 GWh. And work is scheduled to be completed this year on the Santiago Jares hydroelectric plant, which will recover the flexibility of 50 MW and 3 GWh of pumping capacity.

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