Red Eléctrica de España has begun work on the environmental and geophysical research in the seabed area between the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera, for the future submarine electricity interconnection between the two islands.
This submarine electricity interconnection between the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera was approved by the Council of Ministers on 6 June and is essential for a more stable and robust electricity system, promoting the sustainability of the non-peninsular electricity systems. The purpose of the exploratory work is the study of a section of coastline of about 50 km2 (equivalent to 5,000 football pitches) and the corresponding land areas up to the connecting substations, to identify areas that are richer in biodiversity and which are more environmentally sensitive in order to design a cable route with the least environmental effects on the land and sea environment. This new interconnection will also favour the integration of renewable energy in the new Tenerife-La Gomera electricity system.
Considering the remarkable wealth of biodiversity in Tenerife and La Gomera, the planned geophysical research work is ambitious. Different types of seabed will be mapped; a high-precision bathymetric survey will be carried out to determine the depths and underwater terrain within the area (of approximately 1,200 metres); the currents, water quality and sediment will be studied as well as a biological study of the flora and fauna communities present, and a study of underwater acoustics will also be performed to determine the possible effects on cetacean populations.
To mark the commencement of work, Red Eléctrica has organised an informative session aimed at environmental and energy experts of the Canary Islands’ Government regarding the methodology used in the studies performed for the submarine electricity interconnections in the south of Tenerife as well as a visit to the ship used to conduct the studies to see the bathymetry and marine environment research equipment.
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