Red Eléctrica de España will allocate to the Balearic Islands' electricity transmission grid 30% of the 1 billion euros from the special programme for strategic facilities, at a national level, approved by the Council of Ministers last December. This program serves as a bridge between the suspension of the previous planning, in accordance with Royal Decree Law 13/2012 of 30 March, and the new planning scheduled for 2014-2020, currently in the administrative approval process.
This investment, coupled with that foreseen for the facilities that are already in the proceeding process, amount to 365 million euros. In this way, Red Eléctrica continues with its roadmap of steady investments in the transmission grid of the Balearic Islands.
The regional secretary for Employment and Business Promotion of the Balearic Government, Lourdes Cardona, the General Director for Industry and Energy, Jaime Ochogavía, the Deputy General Manager of Operation for Red Eléctrica de España, Miguel Duvison, and the Director of Operation for the Balearic Islands' System Ramón Granadino, today explained to the media the projects included in this plan and how the plan will impact on improving the reliability and security of the Balearic Islands' electricity system.
Majorca-Ibiza electricity interconnection
One of the most important investments of this program, from the point of view of security of supply and the structuring of the territory, is the Majorca-Ibiza submarine interconnection that will link the two electricity systems currently in the Balearic Islands (Majorca-Menorca and Ibiza-Formentera).
This project will complete the process of electricity interconnection between the Spanish peninsula and the Balearic Islands, wich began with the Romulus project (Spanish peninsula-Majorca electricity interconnection), and will allow the insular system to be fully connected to the Iberian and continental electricity markets. This connection will increase the security of supply in Ibiza and Formentera, something that already exists in Majorca and Menorca since last year, especially in critical situations that occur during the months of September and November.
The electricity interconnection between Majorca and Ibiza will be a double link submarine interconnection of 132 kilovolts (kV) in alternating current. With a length of 123 km (including 115 km of the section under the sea), it will be the world's longest submarine interconnection in alternating current and will be the deepest of this type, as it will run along the seabed at depths of up to 800 metres.
With an investment of 225 million euros, the link will connect the Santa Ponsa substation (Majorca) with that of Torrent (Ibiza), and will be operational in its first stage, in 2014 and will be due for completion in 2015.
In addition to the security of supply, the Majorca-Ibiza submarine interconnection will bring environmental advantages, savings and the sustainability of the electricity system. In this respect, after the first four months of commercial operation of the Spanish peninsula-Majorca interconnection, the estimated annual savings for the Spanish electricity system is of 25 million euros. Also, for the first year of commercial operation, the forecasted savings regarding CO2 emissions is of about 250,000 tonnes, equivalent to more than two million additional euros.
Investment in the Ibiza transmission grid
Also included in the special strategic infrastructure program are other actions destined to improve the electricity transmission grid in Ibiza.
Planned investments are aimed at strengthening the transmission grid meshing of the island and its adaptation to the future supply coming from the submarine interconnection between Majorca and Ibiza.
With this objective, included is the construction of a new 132 kV double circuit line and about 11 km in length, of which 7 km are overhead, between the Torrent and San Antonio substations, and the expansion of the latter with the addition of a new 132 kV switchyard and two transformers that convert the voltage of 132 kV, the supply from the interconnection, to 66 kV, which is used by the Ibiza transmission grid.
New line in Palma de Majorca
The planned actions in Majorca are aimed at strengthening the supply in the metropolitan area of Palma de Majorca through the construction of the Catalina-Falca 66 kV line, which will be connected to the new Falca substation. This substation has already obtained the full approval of its proceeding process and will be located in the city centre.
Other ongoing projects
These special actions, approved by the Council of Ministers in December 2012, become integrated with other projects that had advanced with their administrative proceeding process and that are essential for strengthening the Balearic Islands' transmission grid.
Amongst these investments, noteworthy are those to be carried out in Majorca with the San Martín 220 and 66 kV substation in Alcudia, which will improve the evacuation capacity of thermal generation from Murterar and will support the new demand of the northern part of Alcudia; the new 220 and 66 kV substation at Son Moix in Palma, which aims to strengthen the meshing of the Palma de Majorca transmission grid and reconfigure all the 66 kV lines that supply the city; and Cala Blava, in Llucmajor, of 66 kV, necessary to support the demand and free up power load from substations of the coastal area.
Furthermore, the new Alaior 132 kV substation, in Menorca is also included, in order to cover new demand in the area.