About us

Our history

Red Eléctrica de España, S.A. was founded in 1985 in application of Law 49/1984 of 26 December. It was the first company in the world exclusively dedicated to the transmission of electricity and the operation of the electricity system.

Red Eléctrica is created as a company with a majority of public capital, made up of capital contributions of a group of public electric utilities (Endesa and ENHER) and private electric utilities (Iberduero, Hidroeléctrica Española, FECSA and Unión Fenosa, amongst others). The INI (Instituto Nacional de Industria), the predecessor of SEPI (State-owned Industrial Holding Company), held a direct shareholding of 1%.

The Company started off with a workforce of 93 people and 10,500 km of high voltage electricity line provided by the electric utility companies. At the head of the company, a woman, Paulina Beato, who was the chairwoman until 1988.

 

The first control centre display panel of Red Eléctrica in Madrid. Map of the transmission grid map in 1985.

Five years after its founding, the workforce had practically grown tenfold, and 1990 became a landmark year for boosting international energy exchanges.

Head Office building in Madrid. 

The 1990s

These are the years of consolidation of Red Eléctrica, in which the Company faces numerous challenges: taking control of the acquired HV grids, the development and expansion of the transmission grid, the signing of several electricity supply agreements with neighboring countries, the construction of the new buildings (head office and regional head offices), the development of optical fiber or the Spain-Morocco submarine interconnection, the first between two continents.

In 1997, Law 54/1997, regarding the Electricity sector, is passed ratifying the functions of the Company and confirming its role as key player in the operation of the electricity system.

During this period (until 1997) the Company is chaired by Jorge Fabra.

This decade is characterised by the IPO, in July 1999, of an important part of the share capital of the Company, which puts the Company on the road to privatisation.

The 2000s

Following the IPO, in this decade changes occur in the Company shareholding, which will eventually reduce the share capital of the public administration, in other words, that of SEPI (Spanish State-owned Holding Company) to 20% and the left over 80% remains as free float. In addition, the Company begins trading on the selective IBEX 35.

In this period, the Company's international expansion also begins with the investment in the Peruvian company REDESUR. It is the first step in the founding of Red Eléctrica Internacional (2001), subsequently the Bolivian company "Transportadora de Electricidad" (TDE) is acquired.

Installation of the submarine cable. Spain-Morocco interconnection. Electricity Control Centre (CECOEL) and Control Centre of Renewable Energies (CECRE). 

At a national level, work regarding renewable energy becomes ever more relevant during these years, therefore the Cecre (Control Centre of Renewable Energies) was created in 2006, a pioneering centre for the control and integration of renewable energy. This same year, the Company commences its role as operator of the electricity systems in the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla. In 2007, Law 17/2007 is passed, which converts Red Eléctrica into the sole transmission agent and operator (TSO) of the Spanish electricity system.

During this period, some major international interconnection projects are undertaken, such as the installation of the second submarine interconnection cable with Morocco. In 2008, INELFE is created, a joint venture 50% owned by Red Eléctrica and 50% by the French operator (RTE), in order to carry out the new electricity interconnection with France.

In 2008, the organisational structure of the Company transforms into a holding structure, in which Red Eléctrica Corporación is the parent company and has the following dependant subsidiaries: Red Eléctrica de España, responsible for the electricity activities in Spanish territory, and Red Eléctrica Internacional, responsible for the Group’s activities outside of Spain.

During these years the Company is chaired by Pedro Mielgo (1997-2004) and Luis Atienza (2004-2012).

 

In 2010, the process for the acquisition of the transmission assets that were pending transfer by electric utilities was completed; this process began in 2002. This milestone represents the definitive consolidation of Red Eléctrica as TSO.

From 2010 to 2015

Following the acquisition of assets, in 2011 the MAR (Transmission Asset Improvement) project was launched in order to adapt the transmission facilities on the Islands to the quality standards of the infrastructure on the Spanish peninsula.

In 2012, the milestone of the Spanish peninsula – Balearic Islands’ electricity interconnection was finalized, a project of world reference, due to its unique nature and technical complexity. In May of that year, the Company suffered the setback of the expropriation of the Company-owned TDE, Transportadora de Electricidad, by the government of Bolivia.

In 2013, the new Electricity Act comes into force ratifying the Company as the sole transmission agent and operator of the Spanish electricity system on an exclusive basis. On 27 December 2013, Royal Decree 1047/2013 was approved  by the Council of Ministers establishing a new remuneration framework for the electrical power transmission activity in Spain. This is a remuneration model that offers a more simple, stable and transparent methodology.

The 2013 General Shareholders' Meeting approves the creation of the position of Lead Independent Director, following international best practices in corporate governance.

In 2014, the transmission grid is strengthened with the commissioning of 621 km of new circuit line, noteworthy being the new interconnection with Portugal through the Puebla de Guzmán-Tavira 400 kV axis. Additionally of note is the commencement of works for the laying of the submarine interconnection cable between Ibiza and Mallorca.

In November 2014, the Company acquires the rights to use and manage the non-rail fibre optic network owned by ADIF for the next 20 years. This transition is a diversification strategy that converts Red Eléctrica into a neutral and independent operator in the telecommunications market segment, undertaking a role similar to that the Company performs in the electricity sector. On 13 November 2014 a definitive agreement is reached with the Bolivian government regarding the economic compensation for the nationalisation of the company TDE.

In December 2014, Red Eléctrica is awarded the European Business Awards for the Environment 2014 in the special category ‘Business and Biodiversity’, for its project ‘Birds and power lines: Mapping of bird flight paths’.

2015 saw the successful achievement of a major milestone: the Spain-France underground electricity interconnection; a worldwide pioneering construction and engineering project that has allowed the electricity exchange capacity between France and Spain to be doubled. In addition, two new subsidiaries were created: REINTEL (Red Eléctrica Infraestructuras de Telecomunicación) for the provision of telecommunications services and REINCAN (Red Eléctrica Infraestructuras en Canarias) with the aim of promoting energy storage projects in the Canary Islands as system operator tools.

At an international level, during 2015 the Company has consolidated its presence in Peru with new electricity line concession contracts and has entered the transmission business in Chile.

Red Eléctrica has a workforce of over 1,700 employees and manages over 42,000 kms of high voltage electricity transmission lines.

José Folgado has been the Chairman of Red Eléctrica since 2012.

Laying of the submarine cable. Spanish peninsula-Balearic Islands' interconnection.

Since 2016

A total of 674 km of new line was commissioned during 2016, which means that at present we manage an electricity transmission grid consisting of over 43,500 km of line deployed nationwide. An important milestone was the commissioning of the Majorca-Ibiza double link, which has allowed the electrical integration process of the Balearic Islands archipelago and its connection to the Spanish Peninsula to be consolidated.

Regarding the telecommunications business, our subsidiary, Reintel, has consolidated itself as the neutral operator of reference in Spain, managing and operating a dark fibre network of more than 33,000 km.

Within the international arena, in Chile, the acquisition of 50% of Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte (TEN) was formalised; TEN is the company responsible for the construction of the Mejillones-Cardones interconnection line which will connect Chile's north and central electricity subsystems. On the other hand, we have increased our presence in Peru thanks to the acquisition of the total share capital of REDESUR. With regard to our activity in Peru, of note is the progress made in the construction of the 220 kV Azángaro-Juliaca-Puno and Montalvo-Los Héroes lines.

In the field of energy storage in the Canary Islands, the administrative permitting and public information process for the Soria-Chira pumped storage hydroelectric power station project has been started; said project is key to move towards a more sustainable energy model in the Canary Islands archipelago.

In 2016, also noteworthy was the completion of the process for the full separation of powers between the positions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company.

At present, the Red Eléctrica Group has 1,773 employees.