Press office

Press office

30.05.2014

Spain strengthens its electricity transmission grid with a new interconnection with Portugal

  • This new infrastructure of Red Eléctrica connects Portugal, through Huelva and Seville, with the future 400 kV grid that runs through Extremadura from north-south.
  • The interconnection was inaugurated by the Chairman of Red Eléctrica de España José Folgado, and the Chairman of Redes Energéticas Nacionais, Emilio Rui and the General Secretary for Innovation from the Regional Government of Andalusia, Vicente Fernández.

This morning, the Chairman of the Red Eléctrica de España, José Folgado, and the Chairman of Redes Energéticas Nacionais, Emilio Rui, together with the General Secretary for Innovation from the Regional Government of Andalusia, Vicente Fernández, the deputy Minister for the Government in Huelva, Enrique Pérez, and the Mayor of Puebla de Guzmán, Antonio Beltrán, inaugurated a new electricity interconnection between Spain and Portugal, in the region of Beturia (Huelva), at the town of Puebla de Guzmán.

Present at the ceremony were the mayors of the local town councils of El Almendro and El Granado, in addition to other Spanish and Portuguese authorities, who all noted the value of the interconnection for the economy of the surrounding areas on both sides of the border.

The new facility of Red Eléctrica consists of a 400 kV substation and a 25 kilometre high voltage line between the towns of Puebla de Guzmán and Tavira in Portugal. Furthermore, the actual 220 kV line running from Guillena, a city in the province of Seville, to Puebla de Guzmán has been upgraded to 400 kV, thus connecting up with the new high voltage line of more than 300 kilometres in length, which links Guillena with Almaraz in Caceres, via the Community of Extremadura.

These facilities represent an investment by Red Eléctrica of 30 million euros and will help improve the evacuation of renewable energy in the region of Beturia, especially wind energy; strengthen the meshing of the national electricity grid, and increase the interconnections between the two countries favouring the unity of the peninsular electricity system.

With this new interconnection, Spain’s exchange capacity with Portugal increases from 2,300 MW to 2,700 MW. If we consider that the interconnection with France due to be commissioned this year will double the current exchange capacity from 1,400 MW to 2,800 MW, Spain will increase its exchange capacity with the countries of the European Union up to 5,500 MW. This figure represents a huge step forward, but it is still a long way from the target set by Brussels of 15,000 MW by 2030.

The construction works for the line were meticulously carried out in order to comply with the environmental measures. Amongst other actions, bird-saving devices were installed throughout the line and, due to biological stoppages in 72% of the lines, work was only carried out from September to February.

During the construction and commissioning of these facilities, Red Eléctrica promoted local employment plans in different municipalities of the region of Beturia aimed at the recovery of urban spaces and green areas, and it also acquired the tools and equipment for this work. Furthermore, IT equipment was delivered to city councils for social uses. The total amount for such collaborations amounts to 200,000 euros.

Why is it important to strengthen international connections?

They offer a greater security of supply

  • Having an increased interconnection capacity facilitates support functions between electricity systems when faced with possible risks and incidents, resulting in greater strength and stability of the interconnected systems and improved security of supply.

They provide for a greater integration of renewable energy

  • Interconnections facilitate a better use of renewable energy, because, as the energy exchange capacity increases, so does the volume of renewable production an electricity system is able to integrate safely.

They introduce greater competition in electricity markets

  • Interconnections facilitate energy exchange between countries and, therefore, enable a stronger integration of electricity markets, making them more competitive, allowing electricity prices between different markets to be adjusted and harmonised.

Installations brought into service:

  • New 400 kV substation in Puebla de Guzmán (Huelva).
  • New 400 kV line (25 km) through the municipalities of Puebla de Guzmán, El Almendro and El Granado up to the Portuguese border (then it continues through Portuguese territory to the Tavira substation).
  • Upgrading of the Guillena substation (Seville) from 220 kV to 400 kV.
  • Upgrading of the Puebla de Guzmán substation, incoming lines from 220 kV to 400 kV.
  • Upgrade from 220 kV to 400 kV for the current line from Guillena to Puebla de Guzmán.

 

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