The General Manager of the Transmission Division for Red Eléctrica (REE), Carlos Collantes; the Director of Corporate Affairs and Institutional Relationships of the Company, Ana Cuevas and REE’s regional delegate in the Balearic Islands, Eduardo Maynau, met today with the Director General for Industry and Energy of the Balearic Islands’ Government, Jaime Ochogavía, to take stock of the progress the Company has made in improving the Balearic Islands’ electricity infrastructure. From 2011 to 2013, Red Eléctrica has invested 62.8 million euros in the maintenance and upgrading of the Balearic Islands’ transmission grid as part of the MAR Project (Improvement of Grid Assets) and in the specific maintenance plan for the transmission grid.
The MAR Project began in 2011 following the acquisition by REE of the Balearic Islands’ transmission grid from Endesa. The project included the integration of the acquired assets into the REE’s control systems, the upgrading of facilities to the quality standards of the Company and the resolving the deficiencies of the grid, which initially suffered from a lack of redundancy of equipment considered critical, the limited development of optical fibre and the poor condition, due to age, rust and corrosion, of the substations and lines, especially in Menorca.
MAR Project investments
The Balearic Islands’ electricity grid consists of 1,182 km of line, 55 substations and 64 switchyards, as well as transformers and electricity elements required for the transmission of electricity from power stations to distribution points. The integration of all these transmission assets has led to the renewal of communications equipment in order to enable the remote control of the entire grid and its centralised control from Red Eléctrica’s CECOIB (Balearic Islands’ Electricity Control Centre) in Palma. As part of the MAR Project, 149 substation bays have been integrated, using the Company’s own resources, into the CECOIB through the deployment of 200 km of optical fibre. Additionally, the control and protection systems of these 149 bays have been updated and 16 small huts have been built to house the new equipment in 10 substations on the Islands. Throughout 2014, REE plans to add 72 new bays to the centralised system of the grid.
Investments in substations and lines
During today's meeting, also discussed was the work performed by the Company in the execution, from 2011 to 2013, of the Balearic Islands’ electricity grid maintenance plan. The plan, which involves applying the Company's quality standards to the Balearic Islands’ grid, has resulted, in the case of substations, in the improvement of transformers and reactors, the replacement of insulation elements in 8 substations, the application of anti-corrosive paint to an additional 6 substations and the enabling of security and anti-fire systems and as well as signage systems in many of the facilities. Additionally, it has provided the Balearic Islands’ grid a complete set of mobile solutions for substations and lines, which is foreseen to act in emergency situations. In 2014, Red Eléctrica will extend these activities by, amongst other measures, the renewal of 5 more substations and the replacement of insulation elements in another 6.
As for the actions regarding the electricity grid transmission lines, as part of the maintenance plan, over 200 towers of the Balearic Islands’ grid have been replaced, while the renovation of much of its infrastructure has been undertaken, as well as the refurbishment and cleaning of the areas where they are located .
Red Eléctrica has also intensified inspection work of all lines, both overhead and underground. On an annual basis, the entire grid is examined, both on foot and by helicopter. Additionally, all lines are inspected using thermography; an inspection that, in the case of the Islands, is carried out annually when in the case of the peninsular system the usual period is 3 to 5 years. From 2011 to 2013, Red Eléctrica carried out thermographic inspections on 2,898 km of overhead lines of the grid and on 2,514 elements of underground lines.
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