This morning, the President of the Regional Government of Extremadura, José Antonio Monago, the Chairman of Red Eléctrica de España, José Folgado, and the Delegate of the Government in Extremadura, Germán López, as well as the Mayors of different municipalities of Cáceres and Badajoz inaugurated the 400 kV line which at 327 kilometres in length, is considered the longest on the Iberian Peninsula. The route runs through the entire community of Extremadura and part of Andalusia, from the town of Almaraz in Caceres to Guillena, in the province of Seville.
The facility, along with the Almaraz, San Serván, Brovales and Guillena substations, and the 220 kV line linking Arroyo de San Serván with Mérida, has represented a total investment by Red Eléctrica of 260 million euros.
This new infrastructure is designed to improve the grid meshing in Extremadura, and also strengthen the interconnection with Portugal and the central and southern areas of the Iberian Peninsula. Specifically, through Brovales, the interconnection with the neighbouring country is strengthened, up until the Portuguese town of Alqueva, thus increasing the exchange capacity with Portugal and improving the peninsular electrical system as a whole.
The new line will also facilitate the evacuation of future renewable energy facilities in the region of Extremadura, in addition to supplying energy to the traction substations of the future high-speed train between Madrid and Lisbon, a connection with a significant economic future between the two most important capitals in southern Europe.
Biodiversity and the environment
For the construction of this line, not only have both urban and environmental regulations been observed, but also conservation actions regarding nature and historic heritage have been promoted, noteworthy is the mapping system carried out regarding the migration areas and nesting areas of protected birds, in order to try to ensure that the route is as respectful to the habitat as possible. Mating and breeding periods for various species were observed, working only between the months of September and February, when there was a risk of disturbance to the breeding and rearing of young.
Also preserved were forest relics of undoubted natural value, such as is the case of some specimens of Holm Oak (Quercus ilex), and species of unique flora were protected, such as the species of Orchids ‘Ophrys apifera’, a botanic jewel native to Almaraz and unique on the Iberian Peninsula.
The high-voltage line runs through a total of 42 municipalities and has required more than two years of work, to which must be added a further three years of administrative permitting procedures, environmental impact statements and for obtaining other permits and municipal licences.
During the construction and commissioning of this line, Red Eléctrica has also collaborated with several towns in Extremadura on actions of social promotion, heritage conservation and cultural diffusion, such as an interactive travelling exhibition currently on display at the Museo Abierto of Merida, whose aim is to promote the importance and value of a responsible, efficient and sustainable energy consumption, and that has already been visited by more than 4,000 people from Extremadura. In total, 2,615,000 euros has been allocated to this type of collaboration agreements with the various municipalities and social entities.
Together with this great electricity infrastructure, comprised of the Almaraz-Guillena axis and its interconnections with Portugal, Red Eléctrica has a new investment of 99 million euros planned for the coming years in the region of Extremadura, designed to improve the stability of the system in the city of Caceres and the areas that depend on it by building a new substation in the Alcántara reservoir and a 220 kV line to Los Arenales. This installation will help to strengthen the interconnection with Portugal via the stretch between Cedillo and Falagueira.
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