This morning, Red Eléctrica presented the Spanish Peninsula-Ceuta electricity interconnection project to the Local Council of San Roque. The residents of Puente Mayorga, environmentalists and other stakeholder groups were invited to attend this meeting, but they finally declined to attend. During the meeting Beatriz Corredor, Chairwoman of Redeia (parent company of Red Eléctrica), discussed in person the doubts and concerns of the Local Council and reiterated, once again, the Company's willingness to establish an open and collaborative dialogue to turn the project into an opportunity for improvement and development for the municipality and those living in the area.
"We are very grateful to the mayor and the municipal council for their willingness to listen and dialogue and I am sorry that local residents did not want to do so. I absolutely respect their opinions, but today we have come to San Roque to listen to them, to know their concerns and to explain to them that the project is harmless from the point of view of health and safety, so that they know how it will be developed and how it can improve the natural environment and the lives of the residents in the area", explained Ms. Corredor, adding, "Red Eléctrica is at the disposal of the municipality to continue taking steps forward and collaborating. The public information and consultation phase of the project is still open and, therefore, anyone who considers it necessary can raise their concerns. We will listen to them and analyse them in order to make decisions that can help to further improve the project".
The project proposes the use of existing infrastructure such as the Algeciras electricity substation (in San Roque), commissioned in 1970, and avoids the installation of up to eight electricity towers in the municipality by burying the entire electricity line underground. Additionally, it will be equipped with cutting-edge technology and will guarantee maximum levels of safety. In fact, all the studies carried out guarantee that the maximum level of the electromagnetic field around the future installation is 32 microteslas, a figure much lower than the 100 microteslas established by the regulations and even lower than the 50 emitted by the Earth's magnetic field.
This is a strategic infrastructure for the country, included in the 2021-2026 Electricity Planning and approved by the Spanish Government, which seeks to put an end to the energy isolation of the autonomous city of Ceuta and provide it with the same electricity supply and stability conditions enjoyed by the rest of the Spanish citizens.
The project, which foresees an investment of approximately 221 million euros, will contribute to the decarbonisation of the Strait of Gibraltar, one of the areas most affected by the consequences of climate change. Thus, its commissioning will prevent the emission of 300 kt of CO2 per year. The interconnection also meets economic efficiency criteria. It is estimated that its commissioning will bring savings of 30 million euros per year for the national electricity system, which translates into a benefit for the region of Andalusia and their electricity consumers.
A cable route that is integrated into the environment
The Spanish Peninsula-Ceuta link has been designed to achieve maximum integration into the natural environment, with the least possible impact on terrestrial and marine ecosystems and on the cultural heritage of the area. To this end, the strictest environmental, economic and social sustainability criteria have been taken into account in its design at all times.
Thus, an underground and underwater route that goes around the main population centres and takes full advantage of the existing infrastructure has been chosen, following one of the guiding principles of electricity planning. In this regard, the project contemplates the extension of the functionality, not its size, of the existing 220 kV Algeciras substation located in the industrial area of San Roque and integrated into an area with facilities and infrastructure for similar uses. The substation will be connected by an underground cable to a new transformer station, which, like the existing substation, will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and will guarantee maximum levels of safety. The transformer station has been designed so that it is compatible and respectful of the urban development projects being promoted in the area. Furthermore, the fact that it will be fully enclosed in a building means that the surface area required to build this facility is only 534 m2, thus reducing the need for space by 84%.