The president of the Generalitat de Cataluña, Artur Mas, and the chairman of Red Eléctrica de España, Luis Atienza have today inaugurated the Bescanó substation in Girona, a key facility in guaranteeing the development of the Catalan electricity system. This substation, at the forefront of technology, will be the pivotal point of the projects to strengthen the electricity supply in the north east of Catalonia.
The Bescanó substation (400 kV/220 kV) and the 400 kV Sentmenat-Vic-Bescanó line, (also inaugurated today) fulfill four key objectives: improve the supply in Girona, supply power for the high speed train, enable the interconnection with France and facilitate the integration into the electricity system of wind power energy that will be produced by planned wind farms in the area. These facilities take the 400 kV electricity supply to Gerona, guaranteeing the supply to the capital and the Costa Brava, and providing the area with the same level of quality as the rest of Spain.
Additionally, the Sentmenat-Vic-Bescanó line represents the reorganisation of the transmission networks in the area. As far as possible, the new and existing stretches of transmission line have been compacted, which allows a greater number of kilometres to be dismantled than those constructed (92.8 km compared to 89.3 km). This action has a double effect: reduce the visual impact and strengthen grid meshing. Following the compaction process, each line now has at least two circuits.
The budget for the Sentmenat-Vic-Bescanó line was 92 million euros and the Bescanó substation was 21 million euros. Both facilities are forecasted to be commissioned in June this year.
Interconnection with France
The Sentmenat-Vic-Bescanó line is one of the three projects associated with the new Spain-France electricity interconnection, which will link Santa Llogaia with Baixas. This link between the electricity systems of both countries will increase the security and reliability of the grid both in Catalonia and in Spain.
The interconnection will increase the electricity exchange capacity between Spain and France from 3% to 6% of the maximum consumption of the Peninsula, although this will still be below the 10% recommended by the European Union.
The compaction of lines will allow the dismantling of those sections which the new line replaces. This measure has special relevance in PEIN spaces (Plan of Spaces of Natural Interest) and in the Red Natura 2000 of Cingles de Bertí, Savassona and Las Guillerías, where the 400, 220 and 110 kilovolt lines are going to be eliminated. In addition, amongst other environmental measures, line has been marked with bird flight diverter devices in areas where the risk of bird collisions exist and the towers have been elevated to respect the tree line and to avoid the need for tree surgery whenever possible.
By siting the Bescanó substation near the top of a hill it has been possible to condition its visualisation from its surroundings. Thus, it is difficult to be aware of it from down in the Ter valley and it is not directly visible from any of its localities. Similarly, the maintenance of the forests and woodlands in the area reduces its visual impact in such a way that a great part of the facility is screened by the surrounding trees.