Ferrovial La ingeniería civil como arte: creatividad e innovación

The light of the cavern

Daivoes, Portugal

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This story begins on the slopes of Talariño Mountain, where men light torches and play cowbells dressed as what are known as peliqueiros or barbers. It ends in a cavern that can light up cities from the depths of the earth.

When the Támega River starts in Alberguería on Mount Talariño, the waterway doesn’t yet know its own story. It still has to pass through Laza, continue down the hills of the San Mamede mountain range in Ourense, cross the historical lands of Trás-os-Montes, and finally join the Douro in Portuguese territory. On the way, it has time to pause and light up the world a little more.

The Támega River hydroelectric project, which Ferrovial is participating in, has completed construction on three new power plants (Gouvães, Daivões, and Alto Tâmega) that will be capable of producing 1,766 GWh of energy per year. That’s enough to cover the needs of half a million people living in the neighboring cities of Braga and Guimarães.

The Daivoes plant will be the first to redirect the course of the Támega to harness its energy. This will start next year. The arch dam will stand 77 meters tall and 264 long; it will be equipped with two 118 MW turbines hidden inside the mountain.

To round out the story of the Támega, the light, and the cowbells, we still have to talk about the cavern. The Gouvaes plant, the largest of the three, hides an immense cavity where four reversible 220 MW units will be installed; they will be capable of pumping water sent through a turbine from the river to the future Gouvaes dam, like a natural battery, storing energy in the form of liquid.

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