Red Eléctrica, the Redeia company responsible for electricity transmission and the operation of the national electricity system, announced that this Saturday (29 April) it will have completed all installation works for the land and underwater sections of the new subsea electricity link between Ibiza and Formentera. Furthermore, it indicated that the associated civil works and the restoration of the roadways affected by the works will also be finished by said date. The substations associated with this link have also already been completed and are fully equipped.
The interconnection consists of an underwater 132 kV double circuit link circuit between the islands of Ibiza and Formentera, which connects the Torrent substation, in Santa Eulària des Riu, and the new substation built in Formentera, in the Es Ca Marí industrial area
Following the completion of the underwater section of the cable on 30 January, work focused on completing the land sections of the link. The work involved the deployment of the land-based cable to its connection points with the substations at either end of the link, the installation of all the cable junction boxes, and the configuration of the cable joints. In this way, the underwater and land sections of the link are now completely connected.
At the same time, work has been carried out to restore those roadways affected by the works to their initial state.
Thus, the PM-820 and Es Ca Marí roads on Formentera and the Puig den Valls roadway on Ibiza have been completely asphalted, and the road to Can Simonet will also be resurfaced, in coordination with the Formentera Island Council.
As per requests from the Formentera Island Council and the City Council of Santa Eulària, all civil works, as well as assembly and installation work, were carried out in coordination with the relevant administrations, endeavouring at all times to reach a consensus regarding both the timing and duration of the works, always avoiding the tourist season, as well as agreeing on the scope of the work and the necessary restoration works to be carried out.
As of now, a pre-operational testing period has begun with the aim of ensuring the proper functioning of the interconnection, as well as guaranteeing the link’s physical security and electrical integrity.
The new link is scheduled to be commissioned in the second half of 2023, before the peak demand of the summer season, although meeting this objective will depend on the results obtained during the pre-operational testing period and on how well the work progresses.
The new interconnection between the islands of Ibiza and Formentera will represent a giant leap forward in guaranteeing the electricity supply on both islands, especially in the latter (the smallest island), as it will enable 100% coverage of the demand at all times under safe conditions for the system, thus minimising the need for local generation and, therefore, reducing costs for the system and favouring the energy transition through the equivalent reduction of CO2 emissions.
The new submarine cable between Ibiza and Formentera is a three-core 132 kV HVAC double circuit link, with each circuit having a transmission capacity of 53 mega-volt amps (MVA).
The cable route, which has a total length of approximately 37.1 kilometres, includes a 27.1-kilometre underwater section as well as two land sections, 5.2 kilometres in Ibiza and 4.8 kilometres in Formentera, where the cable is buried underground. The underwater section of the cable will run along the seabed at a maximum depth of 58 metres. The overall budget for the link is €96 million.
Horizontal directional drilling was used for the sea-coast approach of the link and for its connection to the land section. A technique that allows the installation of an underground conduit that avoids land-based obstacles and guarantees a minimum environmental impact, thus safeguarding the Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows in the area and other phanerogams.