30 Sep '14, 11am

The little island that could is going 100 percent renewable

Europeans thought the tiny island of El Hierro was the end of the world before Cristobal Colon sailed to that other hemisphere. Now it’s the beginning of a post-fossil energy world. One of Spain’s Canary Islands off Africa’s coast, El Hierro is an active volcanic landmass too remote to hook up to the motherland’s electricity grid. Until recently, 6,600 tons of barged-in diesel were burned each year to generate power for the island’s 10,000 residents. But today, El Hierro stands mere months away from its goal of 100 percent renewable electricity — thanks to a wind farm that stores excess energy in a connected water turbine system. NPR’s Lauren Frayer tells the story: This past summer, El Hierro inaugurated the Gorona del Viento power plant, a $110 million wind and water turbine farm. By the end of this year, the plant will generate all of the island’s energy needs of up to ...

Full article: http://grist.org/news/the-little-island-that-could-is-goi...

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