SIL BASIN: OUR HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATIONS

Twenty hydroelectric power plants in the Sil basin supply clean energy to over a million households

The river Sil originates in the Somiedo region of León, at an altitude of over 1,500 metres above sea level. It is the main tributary of the river Miño, and its course runs through the regions of Laciana and Bierzo, before entering Galicia and flowing into the Miño on the right at Os Peares, to the south of Monforte de Lemos. Its basin has a surface area of 7,987 km2 and a length of 233.9 km.

sil basin

Hydroelectric plants in the Sil basin

Number of hydroelectric plants 21
Total installed capacity 1.578,82 MW
Number of households benefited 1.105.174
Year of first installation 1951

At Iberdrola España, we use the waters of the river Sil through its reservoirs and hydroelectric power plants to generate energy. Thus, we have a presence in the Sil basin through twenty-one hydroelectric plants, all of them located in Galicia, specifically in the provinces of Ourense and Lugo. The installed capacity of these facilities totals 1,578.82 MW – being capable of supplying green energy to around 1,105,174 homes. 

Sil Basin Reservoirs

The remarkable potential of the river Sil, in its basin region, makes it an ideal site for the installation of reservoirs and dams. These structures play a fundamental role in controlling water flow and in the generation of green energy through their hydroelectric power plants. At Iberdrola Spain, we manage some thirty reservoirs in this area, which not only contributes to fostering the use of renewable energy in the region, but also to stimulating local industrial activity and promoting the regional economy. Below, we highlight several of them.

Chandreja Reservoir

The Chandreja reservoir, built in 1953, is located on the river Navea, within the Miño-Sil hydrographic demarcation, and has a capacity of 60.62 hm3 and a basin surface area of 146.2 km2.

Guistolas Reservoir

The Guistolas reservoir is located on the course of the river Navea, as it passes through the Galician municipalities of A Pobra de Trives and San Xoan de Río. Built in 1952, the reservoir has a capacity of 4.73 hm3, with a maximum height of 33 metres. The Guistolas reservoir supplies water to the Guistolas hydroelectric power station. 

Las Portas Reservoir

The river Camba has the Las Portas reservoir, in Vilariño de Conso and Viana do Bolo. The dam, of vault type, was completed in 1974, has a maximum height of 141 metres from the foundations, and the reservoir has a capacity of 535.7 hm3.  

Montefurado Reservoir

The Montefurado reservoir is located on the river Bibey, within the Miño-Sil hydrographic demarcation, between the municipalities of Ribas de Sil and Quiroga and has a capacity of 10.5 hm3. Its dam, built in 1954, is of the gravity type, and has a maximum height of 42 metres.

San Esteban Reservoir

The San Esteban reservoir, located in the Ribeira Sacra, stands in the canyon of the river Sil. The construction of its dam, in Nogueira de Ramuín and Sober, required the use of 150,000 tonnes of cement, until its completion in 1955. This gravity arch dam is 115.10 metres high from its foundations and the reservoir has an approximate capacity of 213 hm3 and a basin surface area of 7,216 km2.

San Martín Reservoir

The San Martín reservoir, located in the Sil basin, has a gravity-type dam, built in 1956, with a maximum height from its foundations of almost 26 metres. With a basin surface area of 4,740 km2, the San Martín reservoir has a capacity of approximately 9.6 hm3

San Miguel Reservoir

The San Miguel reservoir, located in Manzaneda (Ourense), is on the San Miguel river, in the Sil basin. The water in this reservoir is used thanks to its dam, built in 1947, with a maximum height of 11 metres from its foundations.

San Pedro Reservoir

The San Pedro reservoir has a dam located in Nogueira de Ramuín and Pantón. Built in 1959, the gravity-type dam has a maximum height of 36 meters from its foundations, with a reservoir capacity of 5.7 hm3

Santiago Reservoir

The Santiago reservoir was built in 1968 in the Galician municipality of Villamartin. It has a capacity of 1.73 hm3, with a 20.5 m high dam.

Sequeiros Reservoir

The Sequeiros reservoir is located in the municipalities of Ribas de Sil and Quiroga, in the province of Lugo. The dam was built in 1951 on the bed of the river Sil, with a height of 22.20 meters, giving rise to a reservoir with a capacity of approximately 12 hm3

Sil Basin Hydroelectric Power Plants

At Cuenca del Sil, which covers a large area in the north of the country, we are committed to caring for the environment and actively promoting renewable energies. In this way, we meet energy demand and contribute to sustainable development by providing a sustainable and eco-friendly source of electricity for thousands of households in the northern region of the country.

Iberdrola España has twenty-one power plants located in the Sil basin: San Esteban, San Pedro, San Esteban II, San Pedro II, San Pedro II, Montefurado, Sequeiros, Pontenovo, San Clodio, San Martín, Puente Bibey, Chandreja, San Cristobal, Guistolas, San Miguel, Cernado, Conso, Las Portas, Soutelo, Santiago Sil, Santiago Jares and Sobradelo. 

San Esteban Hydroelectric Complex  

The San Esteban hydroelectric complex is Iberdrola España's largest renewable electricity generator in the Sil basin. It consists of two hydroelectric plants: San Esteban I, in operation for more than half a century with a capacity of 263 MW; and San Esteban II, operational since 2013, which added another 188 MW to its installed capacity, thus reaching 451 MW

Located in the municipality of Nogueira de Ramuín (Ourense), the hydroelectric facilities represent one of the Iberdrola group's main commitments to hydroelectric energy in Spain. With these two plants, the complex is capable of producing more than 1,000 GWh per year, meeting the energy needs of 600,000 people – which is almost twice the population of the province of Ourense. 

Puente Bibey

The Puente Bibey power station, with an installed capacity of 315.32 MW, was commissioned in 1964 in Manzaneda, Ourense. With a waterfall of 356.6 metres, it uses the water of the river Bibey to generate electricity. 

Conso

The Conso underground hydroelectric power station, located in Vilariño de Conso, Ourense, began its activity in 1975. It has a waterfall of 230 metres and an installed capacity of 270.17 MW.   

Soutelo

The Soutelo hydroelectric power station, located in the town of Vilariño de Conso, in Ourense, came into operation in 1994. It has a waterfall of more than 606 metres and an installed capacity of 214.60 MW.

Santiago Jares

Santiago Jares, located in the town of Vilamartín de Valdeorras, in Ourense, is a hydroelectric power station that has been active since 1967. It operates with a waterfall of almost 217 metres and an installed capacity of 53.83 MW, providing electricity to around 37,681 households

Montefurado

Montefurado is a type of outdoor hydroelectric power station. The facility, commissioned in 1954, is located in the town of Quiroga, in Lugo, and has an installed capacity of 45.03 MW and a waterfall of 34.5 metres.

Sobradelo 

The Sobradelo hydroelectric power station has been located in the municipality of Carballeda, in Ourense, since 1971. It operates with a 30-metre high waterfall and an installed capacity of 44.74 MW, which provides electricity to 31,318 households

Pontenovo 

The Pontenovo hydroelectric power station is fed by the waters of the river Navea to generate electricity. The plant is located in the municipality of A Pobra de Trives, Ourense, and came into operation in 1952. Pontenovo has an installed capacity of 38.47 MW and a waterfall of 380.8 metres.

San Pedro y San Pedro II

The San Pedro hydroelectric power station was completed in 1959. With an installed capacity of 34.52 MW, this power station harnesses the flow and waterfall of the river Sil to generate electricity in a sustainable and reliable manner.

The expansion of the San Esteban hydroelectric power plant made it necessary to expand the San Pedro waterfall, as it works as a counter-reservoir to the San Esteban waterfall. Thus, with San Pedro II, the total flow of the complex is 375 m3/s and the total installed capacity is around 60 MW. This new facility is located in the municipality of Nogueira de Ramuín, in Ourense, on the left bank of the river Sil, some 1,360 metres from its mouth in the river Miño. 

San Clodio

The San Clodio hydroelectric power station is located in Ribas de Sil (Lugo). This outdoor facility was commissioned in 1970. On the river Sil, the plant has an installed capacity of 19.93 MW and a waterfall of 17.65 metres

Sequeiros

Sequeiros is the oldest hydroelectric complex in Lugo, built in 1951. Located in the municipality of Ribas de Sil, in Lugo, the facility has an installed capacity of 19.82 MW and a head of 18.6 metres

Santiago Sil

The Santiago Sil hydroelectric power station in Vilamartín de Valdeorras has an installed capacity of 15.41 MW and a head of 12 metres.

San Cristóbal     

Located in Chandreja de Queija, Ourense, the San Cristóbal hydroelectric power station supplies clean and renewable energy to 8,722 homes, thanks to its 12.46 MW of installed capacity. The facility has a waterfall of 126.2 metres and came into operation in 1956. 

San Martín

The San Martin hydroelectric power station harnesses the flow and waterfall of the river Sil to supply electricity to 7,287 homes. This semi-outdoor facility is located in the municipality of Quiroga, Lugo. It came into operation in 1986, has an installed capacity of 10.41 MW and a waterfall of 18.58 metres.

Chandreja    

The Chandreja power station, located in Chandreja de Queija, in Ourense, came into operation in 1954. This outdoor power station has an installed capacity of 4.82 MW and a waterfall of 66.5 metres.

Cernado

The Cernado hydroelectric power station is located in Manzaneda, Ourense, and was commissioned in 1991. The hydroelectric power station has a waterfall of more than 130 metres and its an installed capacity of 2.28 MW.

Guistolas

The Guistolas hydroelectric power station, in the Sil basin, was commissioned in 1955 with a gross waterfall of 17 metres. It is an outdoor power station with an installed capacity of 1.77 MW.

San Miguel

In the municipality of Manzaneda, in Ourense, there is the external hydroelectric power station of San Miguel, commissioned in 1958, with a waterfall of 236.6 metres and an installed capacity of 0.60 MW.

Las Portas

The Las Portas hydroelectric power station, in the municipality of Vilariño de Conso, Ourense, was commissioned in 1985. With a waterfall 92.65 metres high, the facility generates electricity thanks to its 0.40 MW of installed capacity. 

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎