Today, at 6:30 am, coinciding with the increase in demand, there was a power outage, mainly in the province of Girona, due to the damage caused to the high voltage lines as a result of the snow and high winds from Storm Gloria.
The incident caused the grid to collapse, leading to a zero-voltage situation in various transmission and distribution substations and, finally, a power outage, which affected more than 400,000 points of suply. Thanks to the electricity interconnection with France, it was possible to provide a supply of high voltage electricity and thus restore the electricity system in the province of Girona at approximately 9:00 am.
The incident started in the double circuit Bescanó-Vic and Bescanó-Sentmenat line (400 kV) that crosses Les Guilleríes, about 24 kilometres from the municipality of Vic. Although it is a mountainous region seriously affected by the storm and difficult to access, the fibre optic cables that run alongside the high voltage lines, and the protection systems in place, enabled the area of the fault to be located.
Currently, work is being carried out with backhoe excavators to clean and open up access roads and to assess in situ the material damage caused by the storm. Additionally, whenever the weather conditions permit, an aerial inspection will be conducted using a helicopter in order to confirm the extent of the incident. It is estimated that maintenance teams will be able to access the area in the next few hours. All work has been carried out in collaboration and coordination with the Emergency Centre of Catalonia (CECAT).
The interconnection with France
The direct-current electricity interconnection with France, commissioned in 2016, has been decisive in the prompt recovery of the service in the province of Girona, by allowing direct control of the flow of energy that arrives into Spain from the French system enabling service to be restored in a more controlled and secure manner.
The electricity interconnection with France remains a world reference at a technological level. With a length of 64.5 kilometres, the link between the two countries was at the time of commissioning the longest direct current line in the world. It links up the towns of Baixas, in the French region of Roussillon, and Santa Llogaia, in Alto Ampurdán. Just over half of the route (33.5 kilometres) runs in French territory and the rest (31 kilometres) on Spanish soil, crossing the Pyrenees through a tunnel of 8.5 kilometres in length and 3.5 metres in diameter, most of it being excavated in the French zone. The route chosen and which is buried throughout its entirety, runs parallel to the high-speed rail network and the motorway in order to minimise the environmental impact.