Spanish electric services company Red Eléctrica has selected GE, in consortium with Cobra Infrastructuras Hidráulicas, for the 200MW Chira Soria project in Spain.

Red Eléctrica is the transmission agent and operator of the national electricity System in Spain.

As part of the contract, the consortium will deliver the six pumped storage turbines, with 37MW each, for the project.

In addition, the companies will provide the design, supply, transport, and commissioning of the turbines, generators, main transformers, and electrical balance-of-plant equipment.

With an energy storage capacity of 3.5 GWh, the Spanish hydropower project is expected to commence operations in 2027.

Red Eléctrica non-peninsular territories system operation director Juan Bola Merino said: “Chira Soria is key to the Canary Islands’ electricity system. It has been designed with the highest environmental standards to guarantee its integration with the minimum visual impact, as 91% of the infrastructures are undergrounded.

“This project reinforces security and guarantees the electricity supply by increasing the power capacity in the system, key for an isolated system. It also boosts the integration of renewable energies into the system by using the surplus generation, thanks to its storage capacity.”

GE said that the project will play an important role in the energy transition and help stabilise the grid in the Gran Canaria region, by serving as large natural batteries.

It will pump the water from a lower to the upper reservoir in times of surplus energy and will release water from the upper reservoir in times of demand, to deliver renewable energy.

Once completed, the power station will increase renewable energy production on the island by 37%, over the estimated energy that would be generated without the existence of this facility.

The power plant would increase the average annual coverage of the demand to 51%, using renewable generation, leading to an additional reduction in annual CO2 emissions of 20%.

It will also improve the guaranteed supply for the island, by increasing the installed power capacity and strengthening the security of the electricity system.

Furthermore, the pumped hydropower project is anticipated to reduce dependence on energy imports, to help achieve savings in variable generation costs totalling €122m per annum.

GE Hydro Solutions president and CEO Pascal Radue said: “As renewable energy generation from wind and solar is increasing in the Gran Canaria Island, this pumped storage project will help balance the grid by dispatching the energy when needed, still with renewable energy.

“Hydropower is the largest source of energy storage that exists right now and represents 95% of all energy stored today. Using water from the sea also demonstrates that with ingenuity, hydropower can reach new heights.”