Red Eléctrica de España has conducted emergency response drills associated to breakdowns in the high voltage installations of the islands of La Palma and Fuerteventura, as set out in the Company’s contingency plans.
These mock drills, conducted at the end of 2017 in accordance with the reference scenarios defined and set out in these plans, consisted in the resolution of faults occurring in various elements of the electricity infrastructure, and in particular, the collapse of one or several towers of the 66 kilovolt (kV) Las Salinas-Gran Tarajal and Gran Tarajal-Matas Blancas lines, on the island of Fuerteventura; and the 66 kV Guinchos-Valle de Aridane line, on La Palma.
During this mock drill the faults were located and the time required for pinpointing them was measured, subsequently emergency towers were relocated and assembled, and as part of the drill it was verified that the necessary mechanical means such as vehicles and cranes are readily available. Additionally, talks regarding coordination and ongoing training for maintenance staff were given in order to ensure the efficiency and coordination of the personnel involved and guarantee that power restoration times defined are met.
Due to the lack of meshing of the transmission grid on these islands, since 2015 Red Eléctrica has had in place contingency plans that establish the need to conduct annual emergency response drills, to ensure the efficiency and coordination of the personnel involved and guarantee that power restoration times defined are met in order to minimise the risks, reducing their impact, and guaranteeing a quick resolution of a breakdown or fault in the event one should occur.
A sufficiently meshed transmission grid, an objective pursued by Red Eléctrica with the execution of the Electricity Transmission Grid Planning, would prevent a simple fault in any element from causing a power outage. Meanwhile, these mock response drills are necessary to minimise the impacts in the event of incidents and ensure the quality of supply.
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