Red Eléctrica has commissioned the new 400 kilovolt route of the Vic-Pierola line. The route of this line has been altered in order to link up with the future circuits of Sentmenat-Bescanó and Vic-Bescanó. After this compaction of lines, the parallel circuits will use the same route and the same towers, which will allow for the dismantling of the old Vic-Pierola line infrastructure, with the consequent reduction of its impact on the surroundings.
The commissioning of this line represents the finalisation of the first stage of the implementation project for the 400 kilovolt Sentmenat-Vic-Bescanó line, which has also represented some modifications in the incoming points at the Vic substation.
The second phase of the project, scheduled for completion before the end of 2010, will require the direct connection between Sentmenat and Bescanó via a 400 kilovolt circuit, as well as the commissioning of a part of the new Bescanó substation.
Finally, the third phase will connect the Vic substation with the Bescanó substation and will put the whole of the Bescanó substation into operation. Once this phase is complete, initially forecasted for the first few months of 2011, the Sentmenat-Vic-Bescanó line and the Bescanó substation will be finished.
When defining the route of the Sentmenat-Vic-Bescanó line, it was decided to dismantle the existing high voltage lines that could be absorbed by the new routes. As a result, the number of facilities located in protected places is reduced, in particularly in those areas of PEIN (Protection of Spaces of Natural Interest) and the Natura 2000 Network of Cingles de Bertí, Savassona and Las Guillerías, where the 400, 220 and 110 kilovolt lines are going to be eliminated.
The result of the compaction of lines is a meshed section, as at all points along the line there are, at least, two circuits. This duplicity increases the possibility of the intervention actions in case of any technical incident, therefore assuring the security of supply.
The Sentmenat-Vic-Bescanó line is one of the three projects associated to the new Spain-France electricity interconnection, which will join Santa Llogaia (Gerona) with Baixas (France), therefore connecting the electricity systems of both countries. Red Eléctrica will additionally improve the power supply to Riudarenes, a key location for the powering of the high speed train, and will also commission the Bescanó-Ramis-Saint Llogaia line.
The interconnection itself, in other words, the Santa Llogaia-Baixas line, will be underground and in direct current. Its commissioning, forecasted for the beginning of 2014, will double the electricity exchange capacity with France, from 3% at present, up to 6%, which will improve the security of supply, especially in the northeast of Catalonia, and will facilitate the integration of large amounts of energy obtained from renewable sources into the system.
Diagram of the Sentmenat-Vic-Bescanó section of line
Phase 1: New route for the Vic-Pierola line.
Phase 2: Sentmenat-Bescanó circuit. To be commissioned before the end of 2010.
Phase 3: Vic-Bescanó circuit. To be commissioned in the early months of 2011.
Dotted line: Section of the old Vic-Pierola line, awaiting dismantlement.