It will improve the management of hydroelectric pumping at the Santiago Sil-Xares power plant, which has a storage capacity of almost 3,000 MWh

Iberdrola optimises hydroelectric pumping in Galicia and hybridises a battery with pumping at the Santiago Sil-Xares power plant

Iberdrola optimiza el bombeo hidroeléctrico en Galicia, e hibrida una batería con bombeo en la central de Santiago Sil – Xares
Iberdrola optimises hydroelectric pumping in Galicia, and hybridises a battery with pumping at the Santiago Sil - Xares power station

Iberdrola already has all the permits and prior authorisations for the improvement and optimisation of the Santiago Sil-Xares pumped storage plant. The project consists of the installation of a static starter and a 5 MWh battery that will make the coupling to the grid of the existing reversible pumping groups more flexible.  

  1. Innovative project and major investment 

Innovative project and major investment 

This is an innovative project in Spain, the first of its kind to be authorised. The project will enable the current hydroelectric pumping between the Sil and Xares rivers to be connected to the grid more quickly and flexibly, with a difference in level of 230 m, 50 MW of power and a hydroelectric storage capacity of almost 3 GWh (3,000 MWh).  

Iberdrola is thus consolidating the investment effort it is making to optimise its current pumped-storage facilities, in which it is the national leader with more than 3,000 MW of capacity (more than 50% of the total in Spain), as well as to promote new storage facilities (in Galicia, Conso II, 1,800 MW). 

The Sil-Xares hydroelectric plant has an average production of 100 GWh/year, is located in the municipality of Vilamartín de Valdeorras and came into operation in 1969.  It has four hydroelectric groups: two of them of flowing type and called Santiago Sil, with a power of 14 MW and a flow of 160 m3/s, and another two of Francis Reversible type, with pumped storage capacity (Santiago Xares) with a power of 50 MW and a flow of 18 m3/s. 

In the current context, pumped storage facilities (Gigabatteries) are essential to advance in the decarbonisation of the Electricity System, allowing the integration of non-manageable renewable energies, increased investment and development of these, by avoiding disconnections at times of low demand.  

Iberdrola is currently the only company with hydroelectric pumping technology in Galicia, with more than 350 MW installed in this type of facility in the province of Ourense.  

The latest example of Iberdrola's commitment to this technology is its Tâmega Hydroelectric Complex, one of the largest energy initiatives in history, with a total investment of more than 1.5 billion euros, an installed capacity of 1,158 MW and an energy reserve of 40 million kWh. 

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