Tag Archives: el hierro

El Hierro end 2016 performance update

Because of generally low wind strengths the Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant achieved only 28.2% renewables generation in November and December 2016. Percent total renewables generation since full operations began in June 2015 stands at 37.7% at the end of 2016, down slightly from 38.7% at the end of October 2016. Renewables generation for the calendar year 2016 was 41.1%. Minor improvements are apparently being made in wind turbine performance but hydro generation remains negligible overall. Data on GdV plant layout, operation and capacities are given in the September 2015 review. Previous posts on GdV are accessible through the El Hierro portal. Continue reading

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Latest El Hierro reservoir images

Rainer Strassburger is back on El Hierro and has downloaded more Gorona del Viento reservoir images on his Cloud site, which is now accessible via the El Hierro portal . Here we take a quick pictorial look at what has changed since he took his last photographs in April. The main changes are a) two flexible pipelines are now delivering water to the Upper Reservoir from the island pipeline network and b) three long graduated poles presumably intended to measure water levels have been installed in the Upper Reservoir, suggesting that GdV may finally be planning to fill it. Otherwise GdV has continued to work with the ~100,000 cu m of water that the reservoirs contained in April. Continue reading

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El Hierro October 2016 performance update

During October the hybrid wind-hydro Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant achieved 19.8% renewables generation that compares with the 58.2% achieved in August 2016. The cause was an abrupt mid-month fall in the wind. Continue reading

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El Hierro September 2016 performance update

During September the hybrid wind-hydro Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant achieved 58.2% renewables generation, comparable to the 55.6% achieved in August and far higher than the 19.9% achieved in September 2015. This was largely a result of the fact that the wind didn’t die early in the month as it did in September 2015. Total renewables generation since full operations began at GdV on June 27, 2015 is now 40.1%, up from 38.7% at the end of August. Continue reading

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El Hierro August 2016 performance update

During August the hybrid wind-hydro Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant achieved 55.6% renewables generation, higher than the 47.9% achieved in August 2015 but lower than the 65.9% achieved in July. The decrease relative to July was a caused by wind lulls and the increase relative to 2015 was a result of two periods of 100% renewables generation totalling 79 hours. Total renewables generation since full operations began at GdV in June 2015 is now 38.7%, up from 37.8% at the beginning of the month. Continue reading

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El Hierro July 2016 performance update

During July the hybrid wind-hydro Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant set a new record of 65.9% renewable energy delivered to the El Hierro grid, handily exceeding the previous record of 53.9% achieved in June. This was dominantly a result of a continuation of the sustained northerly winds that began in mid-June. Continue reading

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El Hierro completes a year of full operation

At the end of June the Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant completed its first year of full operation, during which it supplied 34.6% of El Hierro’s electricity demand with renewable electricity at a cost probably exceeding €1.00/kWh while lowering the island’s CO2 emissions by approximately 12,000 tons at a cost of around €1,000/ton. This post summarizes these unexpectedly poor results, discusses the reasons for them and concludes that GdV, which was intended to show the world how fossil fuel generation can readily be replaced with intermittent renewables, can already be classified as a “failed project”. Continue reading

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El Hierro May 2016 update

During May Gorona del Viento (GdV), a “hybrid” wind-hydro plant designed ultimately to provide the Canary Island of El Hierro with 100% renewable energy, provided only 25.4% renewable electricity to the El Hierro grid, thereby lowering the average renewables fraction since project startup last June to 32.8%. This was a result of a change in operating procedures that resulted in even lower renewables generation than usual and which is documented in this post. (Details on GdV plant layout, operation and capacities are given in the September update. Previous posts on GdV are accessible through the El Hierro Portal.) Continue reading

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El Hierro – a change in operating procedures

The Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant on the Canary Island of El Hierro is a flagship project designed ultimately to provide the island with 100% renewable electricity and to demonstrate that hybrid wind/pumped hydro systems can be used to generate 100% renewable electricity in other parts of the world. This short post documents a change in operating procedures at Gorona del Viento (GdV) that occurred shortly after 7am on May 16th (yesterday as I write). Continue reading

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El Hierro, March/April 2016 update:

The Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant on the Canary Island of El Hierro is a flagship project designed ultimately to provide the island with 100% renewable electricity and to demonstrate that hybrid wind/pumped hydro systems can be used to generate 100% renewable electricity in other parts of the world. GdV comprises a wind park with 11.5 MW capacity and a pumped hydro storage plant with 11.3MW capacity, installed at a total cost of €84 million. This is the fifth in a series of operational updates that began in September last year. Details on GdV plant layout, operation and capacities are given in the September update. Previous posts on GdV are accessible through the El Hierro Portal. Continue reading

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A preliminary reservoir balance calculation for El Hierro.

Roger Andrews and the El Hierro team continue their detective work trying to work out what is going on at the Gorona del Viento 100% renewables project on El Hierro, Canary Islands. Published results show the scheme is significantly under performing. This post analyses photographs of water level in the upper and lower reservoirs, taken by Rainer, our man on El Hierro. The conclusion points to the reservoirs containing 15 to 20% of the water they were designed to hold. It appears something is wrong. Continue reading

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El Hierro – and the water goes round and round ……

Roger Andrews tries to make sense of the pumped hydro component of the 100% renewable plant operated by GdV on El Hierro, Spain. His conclusion is that the upper reservoir has fallen out of use, evidently confirmed by photographs from Rainer, our man on El Hierro. It appears that surplus wind energy is simply used to pump water up the hill and to then let it run down again. Continue reading

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How to make El Hierro 100% renewable

Euan suggested that I explore other renewable options for El Hierro to see how they compare with the wind, pumped hydro and diesel option of the existing Gorona del Viento (GdV) complex that cost an estimated €82 million to install. GdV has so far delivered 32% renewables, well short of the 100% that is widely publicised. It is found that a solar photo voltaic (PV) + diurnal storage system could deliver close to 100% but with a price tag of €150 to 200 million. Concentrated solar power (CSP) switches off completely when it is cloudy and is not viable without 100% backup. El Hierro is an active volcanic island sitting on top of a magma (molten rock) chamber. Geothermal could most likely provide a reliable 365day/24hour electricity supply without storage for a fraction of the wind or solar costs, but appears to have never been explored. Continue reading

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El Hierro, January/February 2016 update:

The Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant on the Canary Island of El Hierro is a flagship project designed ultimately to provide the island with 100% renewable electricity. The low-wind conditions that dominated during the last four months of 2015 continued into January 2016, leading to only 22% renewables generation in that month. Much of February, however, was characterized by strong winds, and combined with the 100% renewables tests that were performed this resulted in renewable energy supplying 54% of El Hierro’s grid demand in that month, exceeding the 52% achieved in June/July 2015. Continue reading

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El Hierro – now up to 41 hours of 100% renewables generation

The El Hierro GdV project produced 100% renewables generation between 1 am on February 14 and 17.40 on February 15. But still enough to eclipse the 33 hours of 100% renewables generation achieved at King Island, Tasmania, last November. So congratulations to the GdV project staff. Continue reading

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El Hierro – 16 hours of 100% renewables generation

Between 0540 and 2140 hours on January 31 2016 the Gorona del Viento (GdV) wind-hydro plant supplied the island of El Hierro with 100% of its electricity from renewables. This short post provides plots of the REE grid data for that day and adds a few observations. Continue reading

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El Hierro Renewable Energy Project – End 2015 Performance Review and Summary

The Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant on the Canary Island of El Hierro is a flagship project designed ultimately to provide the island with 100% renewable electricity and to demonstrate that hybrid wind/pumped hydro systems can be used to generate 100% renewable electricity in other parts of the world.

The data accumulated since full operations began on June 27, 2015 are sufficient to show that the GdV plant as presently structured is not capable of supplying 100% of El Hierro’s electricity demand for 100% of the time.
Continue reading

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El Hierro Renewable Energy Project – October 2015 Performance Review

The Gorona del Viento (GdV) renewable energy plant on the Canary Island of El Hierro is a flagship project designed ultimately to provide the island with 100% renewable electricity and to consign its diesel generators to history. GdV comprises a wind park with 11.5 MW capacity and a pumped hydro storage plant with 11.3MW capacity, installed at a total cost of €84 million. Since operations began in June of this year the plant has not performed up to expectations. This is the second in a series of operational updates. Continue reading

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El Hierro Renewable Energy Project – September 2015 Performance Review

After a year-long test period the Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant went into full operation on June 27, 2015. According to grid data published by the Red Eléctrica de España (REE) renewable energy from GdV has supplied 42% of the electricity sent to the El Hierro grid in the 96 days of operation since then (from June 27 through September 30) with the remaining 58% coming from diesel. Continue reading

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Another Visit to El Hierro

An analysis of the El Hierro island electric data found on the Red Eléctrica de España site for the period from June 26 to August 31, 2015 shows that the renewable contributions have covered 49.5 % of the electric demand of the island. It also shows that with the present wind plus storage system this renewable fraction can’t exceed 80.1%. Neither the capacity of the smaller reservoir of the pumping system, the power of the pumps, nor their efficiencies appears to be the limiting factor. Increasing the active wind power appears as the most effective option to reach a higher renewable fraction. Continue reading

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