Renewable energy firm Iberdrola has started the construction phase at San Pedro hydroelectric plant extension project in Galicia, Spain, to increase the facility's capacity to 57MW.
Located in the river Sil, in the municipality of Nogueira de Ramuín (Ourense), the plant acts as a reservoir for Santo Estevo by controlling the river flow.
The new construction phase, known as San Pedro II, will add 25MW to the existing facility, which currently has an installed capacity of 32MW.
Iberdrola will invest €52m to construct the new plant, which will be partially situated underground.
The company previoulsy opened the largest hydroelectric complex in Galicia, which has 441MW installed capacity.
The hydroelectric power plant has the capacity to generate around 1,000GWh of electricity per year, enough to power approximately 285,000 homes in the region.
Built completely underground, the extension of the original plant, now referred to as Santo Estevo II, is integrated into the surroundings, which include the Sil River canyon.
Santo Estevo II will optimise existing infrastructures, which include a dam, reservoir, substation and export power lines, with a capacity of 176.9MW.
Iberdrola said after completion, the projects will fulfil its objectives to achieve sluice control, balancing flows downstream and optimising exploitation of a renewable energy source.
The company has invested more than €1.1bn in Galicia and made purchases of €1.2bn from more than 200 local providers in the past decade.
Image: San Pedro hydroelectric plant is located in the river Sil, in the municipality of Nogueira de Ramuín. Photo: courtesy of Iberdrola.