The Spanish energy company is building a huge hydropower complex across three water reservoirs in northern Portugal. The project will rely on 880 MW of pumped-hydro storage and is expected to become fully operational in 2024.

Spanish energy company Iberdrola has energized the first 220 MW turbine at its Tâmega hydropower plant in northern Portugal.

The plant is part of the 1,158 MW Tâmega complex under construction since 2014, which comprises three water reservoirs – Gouvães, Daivões and Alto Tâmega – and three hydroelectric power plants located on the Tâmega river, a tributary of the Duero in the north of Portugal, close to Oporto. “After eight years of construction work, the Gouvães and Daivões plants have now been completed and all of the generating units are currently undergoing commissioning tests,” the company said in a statement.

The complex also includes an 880 MW pumped-hydro storage facility, which Iberdrola said will raise Portugal’s storage capacity by 30%. “When the Gouvães and Daivões plants are fully operational in the middle of this year, the large Tâmega giga battery will have enough storage capacity to supply two million Portuguese households for an entire day, and will contribute to the decarbonization and energy independence objectives set by the Portuguese government,” it further explained. “In 2024, with the commissioning of Alto Tâmega, the facility will be fully completed.”

The Daivões dam is the lower reservoir of the 880 MW reversible storage facility, which is able to store water from the Daivões reservoir in the Gouvães reservoir, taking advantage of the 650 meters height difference between the two.

The €1.5 billion Tâmega project will also be connected to two wind power facilities totaling 300 MW.