Red Eléctrica de España has worked on developing a total of 66 technological innovation projects in 2014 (four more than in the previous year), 15 of these have been completed and the results are being taken advantage of in the daily activities of the Company regarding the transmission activity and the operation of the Spanish electricity system.
To do this, this year the Company has earmarked 8.3 million euros for the development and implementation of new technologies that increase the efficiency of the system and facilitate the integration of renewable energy into the same. Some of these projects, which are encompassed in the Innovation and Technological Development Plan designed by the Company for the period 2012-2016, have been promoted in collaboration with different universities and public administrations.
Amongst the projects carried out during 2014, noteworthy is the installation and commissioning of a frequency and voltage stabilising system at the 66 kilovolt (kV) Mácher substation in Lanzarote. This device, a pioneer in Spain, verifies the functional nature of flywheel technology to balance possible mismatches in non-peninsular electricity systems or those with limited capacity to respond to possible imbalances due to their small size.
Said technology converts electrical energy into kinetic energy (resulting from the movement), it stores it for a limited period of time and returns it to the system in the form of electricity, which ensures security of supply in smaller systems and allows the increased manageability and integration of renewable energies.
Also in 2014, Red Eléctrica launched a FACTS device (Flexible AC Transmission Systems) in the 220 kV Torres de Segre substation in Lerida. This facility tests the ability to maximise the use of the existing electricity grid to achieve the massive integration of renewable energy.
The aforementioned project, called ESP-LIDER, is based on the technology of power electronics for controlling SSSC flows (Static Synchronous Series Compensator), which has only been previously installed in the United States and South Korea.
In addition, since October 2014 Red Eléctrica has been coordinating an ambitious project that looks for technological innovation solutions to optimise electricity grids. This project, called Best Paths (Beyond State-of-the-art Technologies for repowering AC corridors and multi-terminal HVDC Systems), includes the participation of 39 top European players at an international level which, together, form part of the process of innovation in the electricity system.
The Best Paths project is developed around five large-scale demonstration areas focused on ensuring increased capacity of electricity grids and system flexibility by incorporating innovative technologies and new industrial solutions to facilitate the evacuation of electrical energy from large offshore wind farms and its transmission throughout the entire electricity transmission network in Europe.
With the aim of maintaining the Company’s commitment to continue investigating using innovative technologies to increase the efficiency of the electricity system, in 2015 Red Eléctrica will invest around 9.2 million euros.
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