Friday, December 3

The Duero Confederation contradicts Ribera in the emptying of the Iberdrola reservoir

The Third Vice President and Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, described last Friday as “scandalous” the emptying of the reservoirs of Ricobayo (Zamora) and Valdecañas (Cáceres) by Iberdrola -the holder of both concessions- to produce electricity on dates when the price of electricity was at very high levels. “We can not allow it,” he declared on the favorite television station of the government. And he stressed that “the most scandalous case is that of Zamora. It is not tolerable to reduce the water in a reservoir in six weeks by 70% ”.

Ribera made those statements, surely overwhelmed because just that day the price of electricity reached the historical record in our country

(117.29 euros per MWh) and in the face of criticism from opposition parties, its own government partners and consumer associations.

In addition, with these facts he tries to justify the proposal that started from United we can and to which it has joined in the last days to create a public company with the reservoirs that are ending their private concession, something that will not happen for about twenty years. Even the first vice president and minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviñio, discarded that idea this week.

However, the Duero Hydrographic Confederation, which belongs to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and which manages several large dams in the Duero system, had issued an informative note the previous week in which it indicated that “the use of this reservoir is hydroelectric” and, therefore, there was no detected no irregularity in Ricobayo, since “throughout this period the supplies from the reservoir have been guaranteed.” He also stressed that this reservoir “is not a state infrastructure, but a private nature” and that the water level “has in no way affected the supplies of the adjacent towns, which have been guaranteed at all times.”

“Exceptional circumstance”

The Hydrographic Confederation even justified the events due to “an exceptional circumstance”, since the reversible Villarino power plant, which is where the flows provided by the Almendra reservoir are turbine and partially rebound from the Aldeadávila reservoir, has been more Three-month stoppage for repair and maintenance work, in such a way that the production of the system has been based on the regulation of flows from Ricobayo. “Hence the sharp drop in the level of the reservoir that has occurred.”

Despite these explanations of the Duero Hydrographic Confederation, the minister announced that they had initiated an informative file that could lead to another sanctioner if it were shown that Iberdrola had incurred in some irregularity.

This initiative was transferred yesterday in person by the seSecretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Morán, during his visit to Zamora, where he held a meeting with the mayors of the affected municipalities, in which Javier Izquierdo, an Asturian architect and prominent socialist politician, also participated in the delegate of the Executive in Castilla y León.

Moran He said that the municipalities are leading “a just claim” and was in favor of verifying whether there has been “malpractice” in Iberdrola’s actions. “The position of the mayors defines the feeling of grievance of the affected residents,” he said.

At this point it should be remembered that the first complaints about the emptying of Ricobayo arose from some neighbors who carried out recreational activities such as bathing and sailing. However, the Duero Hydrographic Confederation states that “these activities are not contemplated in the reservoir exploitation regulations, given that they are non-concessionary uses that have occurred”, that “they are not part of the design of the system or of the regulations that govern it” and that they are carried out “in precarious conditions, always subject to the needs of the Spanish energy system.”

Regarding the specific situation of Ricobayo and the information file, Moran He said yesterday that he expects the procedure to be “fast” and to be resolved in the next few days.

For its part, the mayor of San Cebrián de Castro, Javier Aguado, he spoke on behalf of the affected municipalities to make clear what, in his opinion, is “an unprecedented environmental attack by Iberdrola towards these territories.” The municipal official defended the need for the commitments “not to be only in words,” reported Ep.

Power reserve

Iberdrola has explained to ABC that Ricobayo “has not been emptied, but is fulfilling its function at the most necessary moment: to produce energy to supply demand and to shift – along with other competitive sources of electricity generation – to technologies more expensive in shaping the price of electricity.

And they highlight that all the reservoirs, and especially the regulation ones such as the Ricobayo reservoir, are important energy reserves, which are available to the electrical system.

They add that Ricobayo It is part of the so-called annual regulation reservoirs that, in a typical year, are filled with the rains to later generate energy in the dry season, whenever it is demanded and when it is most useful for the system.

Finally, they recall that the exploitation of the reservoirs, in accordance with the needs of the system, is always carried out in contact and coordination with the competent authorities and that the Hydrographic Confederation records of all reservoirs real-time information on different operating parameters, some related to water quality and others with operating variables, including the reservoir level.

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