The General Manager of Transmission Sub-Division of Red Eléctrica, Alberto Granda, today presented to the Deputy Regional Minister for Industry, Energy and Commerce for the Canary Islands Government, Adrián Mendoza, the assessment of the work carried out by the Company for the improvement of the electricity transmission infrastructure of the Canary Islands; a project in which Red Eléctrica has invested 134.7 million euros since 2011. Of this investment, 93 million euros correspond to the Improvement of Grid Assets project (MAR), and 41.7 million to the specific maintenance plan.
The MAR project in the Canary Islands, with a budget of 150 million euros, seeks to adapt the electricity transmission infrastructure, acquired by Red Eléctrica in 2010, to the quality standards of the Company’s facilities on the Spanish Peninsula; resolve existing deficiencies in the infrastructure, and integrate these assets into the Company’s control systems, in order to ensure the security of the electricity supply in the archipelago.
In the first five years of this project, whose completion is planned for 2017, 77% of the scheduled actions have been completed and 93 million euros have been invested.
The asset improvement programme has associated a maintenance plan adapted to the special characteristics of the electricity transmission grid in the Canary Islands and in which Red Eléctrica has invested 41.7 million euros in this five-year period.
The result of the work undertaken since 2011 is the improvement in the security and quality of supply, as measured by a significant reduction in service disruption, both in terms of energy and average outage time.
Most noteworthy actions of the MAR project in 2015
In Lanzarote, last year 19 towers were replaced in the Mácher-Playa Blanca and Punta Grande-San Bartolome 66 kilovolt (kV) lines and their insulator strings were replaced by others that respond better to the environmental characteristics and climate conditions of the Canary Islands
In Fuerteventura, 114 towers were replaced, 13 in the Corralejo-Playa Blanca 66 kV line and 101 in the Salinas-Gran Tarajal 66 kV line. The insulators were also replaced.
These actions were especially complex due to fact that the work could only be carried out under live conditions given the current configuration of the electricity systems in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
Since the beginning of the MAR project, Red Eléctrica has replaced 322 towers in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura from a total of 464 of the lines that make up the transmission grid on both islands, i.e. 69%. Of these towers, 91 are in Lanzarote and 231 in Fuerteventura.
On the island of Tenerife, in 2015, 9.7 km of conductor cable in the Guajara-Dique del Este and Manuel Cruz-Dique del Este 66 kV lines was replaced, including their insulators. From 2011 to 2015, a specific paint treatment was carried out on 500 towers, 50% of those on the island, 178 had their anchorage points strengthened and 3,018 insulator strings were replaced (38%). Since the outset of the MAR project, 82% of the substation bays in Tenerife have been replaced.
As for Gran Canaria, 574 glass insulators were replaced by double string composite insulators in the following 66 kV lines: Jinámar-La Paterna1, Jinámar-Buenavista2, Tirajana-San Agustín and San Agustín-Lomo Maspalomas.
Since 2011, 996 towers of the 2,264 existing in the Canary Islands have been painted, 44% of the total.
For the integration of assets into the control and telecommunications systems, from 2011 to 2015 Red Eléctrica installed 206 km of fibre optic in the Canary Islands’s grid, increasing the number of of sets of telecommunication equipment from 54 to 1,761 in 2015.
In doing so, the Company has met the objectives set for this period at the beginning of the project, especially the important objective of replacing 322 towers in Lanzarote-Fuerteventura, noteworthy being the 101 towers of the Salinas-Gran Tarajal 66 kV line.
Additionally, 271 substation bays of the 350 scheduled have also been renewed. Similarly, the specific annual maintenance plan, defined in accordance with the criteria established by Red Eléctrica, is also being fulfilled.
The MAR project works include, amongst other actions, the cleaning up of the safety corridors for the lines; repair and improvement of accesses to the towers; installation of transmission line identification markers, and the placement and adaptation of protective measures to prevent access to frequented towers.
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