This little Spanish island will run on 100% Renewable Energy within months - 29th September
El Hierro is a tiny Spanish island located off the west coast of Africa, has done away with fossil fuels. The entire island will be running on 100% renewable energy in just a few months time - from the power of wind and water.
Journalist Lauren Frayer states that the 278 km squared island (population of just over 10,000) is billing itself as the world’s first energy self-sufficient island that's never been hooked up to a power grid. El Hierro struggled to hook up to Spain’s power grid, because of the topography of the surrounding sea bed; therefore the residents have had to figure out a different way.
The island tried to import 7,000 tonnes of diesel fuel to power their various electricity generators. This method brought about many issues; it wasn’t a long term solution, it was very costly and caused negative impacts on the environment. Over the past 12 months the island started integrating a $110 million wind and water turbine farm, called Gorona del Viento, into their power supply. "By the end of this year, the plant will generate all of the island's energy needs of up to 48 gigawatt hours per year,” reports NPR.
Gorona del Viento consists of 5 wind turbines and 2 lakes. For the majority of the time there is enough wind to power the turbines but when there isn’t water from the lakes is pumped through the turbines to generate hydro-power. An innovative sensor detects within 5 seconds if the wind is starting to drop which in turn kicks the hydro power into gear, thus there is never a dip in the supply.
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