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August 28, 2019 @ 12:30 am - 2:00 am


IEEE Hawaii Power and Energy Society Chapter and University of Hawaii IEEE Student Branch

Sponsors Seminar on Tuesday August 27, 2019 from 6:30PM to 8:00PM

Holmes Engineering Building room #244, UH Manoa Campus

Pizza and beverages starting at 6:00PM

RSVP for pizza headcount to JohnOBorland@aol.com

How To Increase The Penetration Of Renewable Energies In Insular Power Systems: The Experience Of The Canary Islands


The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago located at the northwest of Africa, and composed by seven volcanic islands, 2.1 million inhabitants, and hosted 15.6 million tourists in 2018. The closer the island is to the Sahara Desert, the older geologically it is and drier its climatic conditions. This effect is enhanced by the fact that erosion makes the orography of the older islands less abrupt and, consequently, incapable of retaining the humid trade winds flowing from the northeast. These climatic characteristics define much of the huge renewable energy potential that these islands offer to the 6 isolated power grids that supply electricity to the power system.

El Hierro power grid is leading the integration of renewable energy in the Canaries reaching a 56.5% in 2018 almost totally supplied by the hydro-wind power station of Gorona del Viento SA. Important technical issues are being solved for reaching this and higher expected values of renewable energy integration in the coming future, as the plant started being tested in summer 2014 and is still below its estimated potential. But hydropower infrastructure in the Islands is currently very limited because of the lack of water resources and locations for large reservoirs, pipelines and turbines.

In general, at present (end of 2018) the Canary Islands have reached a 20.3% of non dispatchable energy (wind and PV) integrated in the power system, and this value is expected to continue growing to a 45% in 2025. A record instantaneous non dispatchable energy integration of 60.0% has been reached in the island of Tenerife in May 19, 2019. However, the system operator is starting programming curtailment of wind and PV in the larger power grids from the beginning of 2019. Also, concern about the visual impact of the latest wind farms is rising.

At the same time, distributed PV is starting growing fast as the new regulation approved in April 2019 by the Spanish government has removed a “sun-tax”, simplified administrative procedures, and favoured not only individual homes to install PV systems but also community buildings. In large areas of our Islands the average solar irradiation is higher than 1800 kWh/kWp·yr. Also, the new Directives expected to be approved by the European Union for regulating the electricity markets will bring new opportunities mostly based on the concept of “energy communities” and smart grids.

In this talk, an introductory description of the different power grids in the Canary islands will be shown and how the insular, regional and central governments are managing the path for a very high penetration of non-dispatchable energy technologies in our islands. Moreover, how our distributed PV market is evolving will be described. Also, the new storage systems that are being installed in our different power grids will be exposed, mostly devoted to avoid frequency disruptions and voltage drops. Finally, some conclusions about the similarities of the Hawaiian and Canaries energy systems, and the opportunities for a stronger collaboration between both archipelagos will be discussed.



Speaker(s): ,

Bldg: Holmes Hall room 244, UH Manoa Campus
2540 Dole Street
Honolulu, Hawaii


August 28, 2019
12:30 am - 2:00 am