The Chairman of Red Eléctrica, José Folgado Blanco, and the head of the Military Emergency Unit (UME), Lieutenant General Miguel Alcañiz Comas, today signed an agreement to collaborate and coordinate the actions that are considered necessary to guarantee the electricity supply in those cases where it may be affected either as a direct consequence of a natural disaster or as a result of illicit acts.
As part of this agreement, which will last four years, and that may be extended for a further four, Red Eléctrica will provide the UME with the necessary means to jointly carry out response drills and to facilitate adequate communication. The Company will provide two high-voltage electricity towers for their installation in the Jaime I military air base in Bétera (Valencia), along with their corresponding technical documentation and the necessary material for their assembly and hoisting. These towers will allow mock response drills to be conducted and therefore facilitate the collaboration between both parties in the performance of their respective functions.
The formal cooperation between Red Eléctrica and the UME began in 2013 with the signing of a first agreement that helped facilitate hands-on practice for the unit's personnel and enabled them to acquire a greater knowledge of electricity infrastructures. Currently, there are towers provided by Red Eléctrica at the air bases of Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid), Morón (Seville), Jaime I (Bétera, Valencia) and Zaragoza.
However, the relationship with the UME began some years earlier. In December 2009, the presence of soldiers from the unit was required to transport the necessary material to repair a fault in a electricity line in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) affected by a wind storm, and in March 2011 they took part and worked together with Red Eléctrica operators in the repair of the Soto-La Robla line in the ski resort of Valgrande (Asturias) damaged by a heavy snowfall.
In addition, power restoration simulations have been carried out under different mock scenarios: earthquakes, adverse weather phenomena, etc. and Red Eléctrica has organised specific training sessions for the commanding officers and members of the Unit aimed at providing more in-depth knowledge of the characteristics of the electricity system and the physical security measures implemented in electricity transmission facilities in order to guarantee the supply in the event of possible risks or incidents.
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