Integration with the environment

Integration with the environment

Our main environmental effects are related to the territory and the landscape through which electricity lines pass.

For this, we have made a significant effort regarding the study of the territory and on coordination with key interested parties in order to define and agree on the locations of substations and the routes of the lines so that these effects are minimised.

Additionally, thanks to the implementation of preventive and corrective measures and strict monitoring of environmental criteria in the construction and maintenance works, the potential effects are reduced and the resulting impacts are compatible or insignificant.

To carry out continuous improvement of environmental performance and processes, annually Red Eléctrica defines an environmental programme in which the various objectives derived from the different strategies of the Company are established and specific work actions are defined.

Environmental Assessment, the best tool to carry out the definition of the best Project and the appropriate preventive and corrective measures.

Status of the environmental permitting process of projects

Currently, one of the most relevant issues in relation to the integration of facilities into the environment is how to improve their social acceptance. The development of public participation processes is a key tool for this.

During 2017, Red Eléctrica worked on the public participation and consultation process for the submarine interconnection project with France across the Biscay Gulf as, given its status as a Project of Community Interest (PCI), it requires this type of procedure. In addition, the Company is strengthening stakeholder management by establishing plans for public participation and consultation processes for other projects.

Biodiversity conservation has always been a basic principle within our environmental policy and corporate business strategy.

In order to reduce to the maximum the visual impact of lines and substations, Red Eléctrica puts in place various measures, of which the following are noteworthy:

  • Locating of facilities far from the population nuclei and zones of high landscape value.
  • Design of the routes to pass through flatter areas.
  • Restoration of affected areas.
  • Landscaped integration of substations.
  • Reducing the opening of new access roads.
  • Agreement with landowners regarding the best location for electricity towers.
  • Over-elevation of towers to prevent effects on economic activities.
  • Use of boom cranes and helicopters for construction works regarding electricity lines.
  • Restoration of areas affected by works.
  • Performing archaeological surveys prior to the commencement of works.
  • Continued presence of an archaeologist in the earthmoving phase when the results of the survey deem it necessary.
  • ‘ARQUEORED’ project, which aims to provide digital mapping of catalogued heritage for its consultation prior to the planning of works.
  • Noise pollution coming from electricity lines can only be heard in the immediate vicinity of lines with very high voltage. It is usually of low intensity and increases slightly in high humidity situations.
  • Sound pressure levels in substations are higher in the immediate surroundings, therefore these facilities are located away from inhabited areas.

Despite the fact that the international scientific community now agrees that exposure to industrial-frequency electric and magnetic fields generated by high-voltage electricity installations does not represent a risk for public health, in Red Eléctrica we work tirelessly on this subject from different perspectives.

More information on "Electric and magnetic fields"