The Canary Islands are a perfect example of modern isolated power systems. The islands integrate more and more renewables and maintain a reliable power supply, not being connected to any mainland grid. In Tenerife alone, the total installed capacity of renewable energy sources (wind and solar) already exceeds 22%, which is about 320 MW. The plans are to integrate even more renewables and potentially interconnect the islands via HVDC submarine cables. So, traveling to Tenerife this summer, I was particularly interested to see what the power system looks like.
And I was not disappointed. The system looks very modern and reliable. There is no feeling that you are on an island in the Atlantic Ocean. I mean, one might expect messy, obsolete low-voltage networks with rusty transmission towers. But check out these beautiful lines along the highway:
Such transmission towers are designed to withstand possible lightning strikes and storm disasters. Again, quite an advanced level for an isolated island. The wind farms in the south also seem new and fully operational:
There was really a strong wind near the wind farms, so it was hard to walk and film there. Some people were even windsurfing on the nearby beach. I guess that Tenerife’s wind energy potential is far from being depleted. No doubt, the potential of solar energy is far from over too.
Overall, I was impressed by the energy infrastructure in Tenerife and its level of maintenance. It will be interesting to see how the system will evolve and what targets for renewables integration will be achieved.
Andrey Churkin (Андрей Чуркин) 2022