Transmission grid in the Canary Islands

In July 2010, Red Eléctrica signed an agreement with Endesa by virtue of which it acquired the insular transmission grids (66kV, 132kV and 220kV), representing Red Eléctrica’s consolidation as the sole transmission agent and system operator in the Canary Islands, following the existing model on the Spanish peninsula.

The transmission grid on the Canary Islands is made up of the following elements:

  • Transmission lines or substations operating at a voltage of 66 kV or higher.
  • Submarine cable between the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.

La PalmaLa GomeraEl HierroGran CanariaTenerifeLanzaroteFuerteventuraLeyenda completa

Map of the Canary Islands electricity system (January 2018, PDF only available in Spanish, 9.69 MB).

Following the acquisition in July 2010 of the transmission lines and substations on the Canary Islands, Red Eléctrica has been carrying out a programme for the integration and improvement of these installations, adapting them to the quality standard of those transmission infrastructures on the Spanish peninsula. With this objective in mind, during the 2011-2015 period, Red Eléctrica is carrying out the MAR Project (Improvement of Grid Assets).

The objectives of the MAR Project are the following:

  • Adaptation of the infrastructures on the Canary Islands to the quality standards of those on the Spanish peninsula.
  • Resolve the inadequacies of the existing transmission grid.
  • Integrate the acquired assets into Red Eléctrica's control systems.
  • Apply a maintenance plan adapted to the unique characteristics of the electricity system.

The specific characteristics of insular grids require a special maintenance plan that involves more investment and complexity than the works carried out on the Spanish peninsula:

  • Performing live-working maintenance works, as the system is saturated and does not allow the disconnection of lines.
  • Annual revision of all lines via thermal imaging (on the Spanish peninsula only 25% undergo inspection each year).
  • Applying anti-corrosive materials in projects.
  • Increase in on foot inspections and thermal imaging in areas of difficult access.
  • Weekly revision of underground electricity lines.
  • Permanent support to the maintenance workforce.

    Improvement of network assets in the Canary Islands

    (Available in Spanish) From the moment that it bought the transmission infrastructure in the Canary Islands at the end of 2010, Red Eléctrica embarked on an ambitious plan to update and improve it, known as Project MAR (Improvement of Network Assets).

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