Iberdrola has connected one of the two turbines of the 160MW Alto Tâmega hydroelectric power plant located in Portugal to the grid.

Through the connection of the turbine, the Spanish electric utility has advanced towards the commissioning of the 1.16GW Tâmega hydroelectric complex.

The Portuguese hydroelectric complex entails a total investment of more than €1.5bn. It also possesses an energy reserve of 40 million kWh, which is equal to the energy consumed by 11 million people during 24 hours in their houses.

The Tâmega complex comprises three power plants, namely the Alto Tâmega hydroelectric power plant, the 880MW Gouvães pumping hydroelectric plant and the 118MW Daivões power plant.

Iberdrola commenced the operations of the Gouvães and the Daivões power plants in 2022. The Alto Tâmega hydroelectric power plant will begin commercial operation at the end of March this year.

Located at the foot of the Alto Tâmega Dam, the Alto Tâmega plant is a large double-curvature dome dam with 105m in height and 220,000m3 of concrete.

Following the connection of the first turbine to the grid, the second turbine will be connected in February 2024.

According to Iberdrola, the Tâmega hydroelectric complex has enabled a 33% increase in Portugal’s hydroelectric storage capacity.

Iberdrola stated: “Since hydroelectric storage is currently the only technology capable of storing electricity massively and efficiently, this Complex is able to make the most of the energy generated by the wind and the sun, compensating for the periods when the sun does not shine and the wind does not turn the blades of the wind turbines.”

In December 2023, Iberdrola and Abu Dhabi Future Energy (Masdar) agreed to co-invest up to €15bn in offshore wind and green hydrogen projects in Germany, the UK, the US, and other key markets.