Spanish Island Powered by 100 Percent Renewable Energy
The possibilities of renewable energy are on display as El Hierro, the smallest of Spain’s Canary Islands, is set to become the world’s first land mass to be fully energy self-sufficient, when an 11.5 megawatt wind farm goes online late next month.
El Hierro, with a population of a little over 10,000, already has a water turbine that generates electricity, so it will be the first island to secure a steady supply of electricity by combining wind and water power, according to an article in the U.K.’s Daily Mail. The island has no connection to any outside electricity network.
The turbines will generate enough power to meet residential demand, as well as power the island’s water desalination plants. Surplus power from the wind turbines will be used to pump fresh water from a reservoir near the harbor to a larger one at a volcanic crater located approximately 2,300 feet above sea level. And when there is little or no wind, the water will be channeled down to the lower reservoir through turbines to generate electricity.
"This system guarantees us a supply of electricity," said Juan Manuel Quintero, director of the $110 million Gorona del Viento wind power plant, who was quoted in the Daily Mail article.
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Canary Island image via Shutterstock.