Since 2011
Red Eléctrica has invested 90 million euros in improving the Canary Islands’ transmission grid

Red Eléctrica’s General Manager of the Transmission Division, Carlos Collantes, and the Company’s Director of Corporate Affairs and Institutional Relations, Ana Cuevas, today met with the Director General of Industry and Energy of the Canary Islands’ Government, Mª Antonia Moreno, to take stock of the progress the Company has made in improving the electricity infrastructure of the Canary Islands, in which it has invested 90 million euros since 2011. Of this total, 64 million euros correspond to the MAR project (Improvement of Grid Assets) and 26 million to the specific maintenance plan for the Islands.

With a total budget of 150 million euros, Red Eléctrica’s MAR Project (2011-2015), under which a total of 64 million euros has been invested and 43% of the works have already been completed, seeks to bring the facilities of the Canary Islands’ grid acquired from Endesa in late 2010 to the Company’s quality standards and resolve the deficiencies of the transmission grid, as well as integrating said assets into Red Eléctrica’s control systems.

During the meeting, a review was carried out regarding the work in which the Company has invested 26 million euros in the period 2011-2013 as part of the specific maintenance plan for the Canary Islands’ electricity grid.

These efforts carried out by Red Eléctrica to adapt the facilities of the Canary Islands’ transmission grid to the highest standards of quality are reflected in a significant reduction in the average interruption time of the Islands’ electricity supply ever since Red Eléctrica took ownership of the transmission grid.

The Canary Islands’ electricity transmission grid consists of 1,292 kilometres of lines and 50 substations, in addition to transformers and electricity elements with voltages equal to or greater than 66 kV, and that are essential for the transmission of electricity from power stations to distribution points.

Most noteworthy actions of the MAR Project for the period 2011-2013

In Tenerife, 159 tower bases were reconditioned and 8.8 km of electricity cable conductor was substituted and 1,941 glass insulators were replaced by composite insulators that are better adapted to the Canary Islands’ climate.

With regard to Gran Canaria, six towers were replaced, amongst these are the towers that were replaced at the exit of the Jinámar power station. In many cases, given the difficult terrain of the area, the use of special equipment and helicopters was necessary to perform the works. Also 27.3 km of conductor cable was substituted and 1,917 glass insulators were replaced by composite insulators.

In Lanzarote and Fuerteventura 58 and 88 towers respectively were replaced; these were complex works due to fact that these tasks can only be carried out under live conditions given the current configuration of the electricity system.

In accordance with the road map set out in the MAR Project, the ​​renewal of ancillary services and telecommunications equipment has been carried out, as well as the installation of new remote control equipment in 34 facilities. Additionally, 15 small buildings were built to house the different equipment, and also the protection systems of 100 bays (17 of which are located in power stations) were integrated and renewed.

Other investments

Red Eléctrica also continues with the construction of substations and transmission lines as the required permits are obtained. In this regard, the Company has begun the construction of a number of facilities amongst which noteworthy are:

  • The construction of the Realejos substation in Tenerife and its connecting lines.
  • The new Santa Águeda 220/66 kV substation and the 220 kV line connecting it to the grid, the enlargement of the existing San Mateo substation and the repowering of the Jinámar-Barranco Seco line (already completed), on the island of Gran Canaria.

The construction of two other important facilities will begin shortly, namely the Sabinal substation in Gran Canaria and the Buenos Aires substation in Tenerife.

This new infrastructure will solve both the existing deficiencies in the transmission grid and the excessive concentration of connections in the major substations on which the areas of higher electricity consumption depend.

Similarly, Red Eléctrica’s investment plan in the Canary Islands contemplates undertaking the other actions included in the Special programme approved by the Council of Ministers.

With the construction of these facilities, along with the other works of the MAR project, will fundamentally improve the security of the Canary Islands’ electricity system.

Red Eléctrica has launched a new methodology for the landscape integration of the most important new substations, by which it seeks to take fullest advantage of the environment and reduce their environmental impact on the landscape. This landscape integration methodology will be applied for the first time in the new Sabinal substation in Gran Canaria and the Caletillas substation inTenerife.


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