Red Eléctrica de España to invest €801.4 million in the Canary Islands’ electricity system

  • Recent changes in energy planning will represent additional investments of €489.4 million in addition to the €312 million approved in 2012
  • The new electricity infrastructure promotes progressive change towards a new energy model based onrenewable energy and interconnections

MADRID, 17-7-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Red Eléctrica de España in the next few years will make a series of investments in the Canary Islands’ electricity system totalling €801.4 million, made up of the €312 million approved in the Extraordinary Plan of December 2012 plus an additional €489.4 million for new projects recently approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. Of this total, €309.7 million will go to electricity infrastructure on Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, and €179.7 million to Tenerife and La Gomera.

These investments will boost a progressive change in the current energy model for the Canary Islands, based on the integration of renewable energies into the Islands’ electricity system and the increase in interconnections. The new infrastructure will allow the evacuation of the electricity generated by future wind farms and improve the efficiency of the insular electricity systems, as well as the transmission grid meshing to ensure security of supply. In short, the aim is to implement a more sustainable, efficient and secure system through large-scale investments that have the full commitment of Red Eléctrica and which have the adequate technical, human and financial capacity.

The Chairman of Red Eléctrica de España, José Folgado, today presented this data at a press conference, accompanied by the General Manager of System Operation Division, Andrés Seco, and General Manager of Transmission Division, Carlos Collantes. The new investment included in the specific modifications to the Energy Planning 2008-2016 were approved at the Cabinet of Ministers’ meeting held on 6 June and published on 1 July in the Official State Gazette. Of the €917 million approved for infrastructures nation-wide, 53% (the aforementioned €489.4 million) will be allocated to projects in the Canary Islands.

Amongst these projects, noteworthy is the construction of the interconnection between La Gomera and Tenerife and the strengthening of the interconnection between Fuerteventura and Lanzarote with a new submarine link between these islands. These investments are essential to achieve more stable and robust systems, therefore promoting greater environmental and economic efficiency of the electricity system as a result of the interconnection between islands.

In Gran Canaria, it is planned to build four new 66 kV substations (New Bco. Seco, Arinaga, Agüimes and El Escobar, next to Carrizal) and to enlarge four others (Cinsa, Aldea Blanca, Guía y Muelle Grande); the projects include the associated lines. These facilities are intended, on the one hand, to provide connection points for future wind farms and, on the other hand, to ensure and strengthen the guarantee and security of supply in the north of the island.

In Lanzarote, the investment includes the construction of four new substations (Tías, Callejones, Playa Blanca and Haría) and the execution of the project for the 132 kV DC line between Tías and Playa Blanca. These projects are necessary both for the evacuation of special regime generation as well as for the strengthening of the transmission grid meshing.

In Fuerteventura, the investment contemplates the construction of four new substations (La Oliva, Puerto del Rosario, Jare and Cañada de la Barca) and the execution of the project for the new 132 kV circuit between Puerto del Rosario and la Oliva. These facilities will provide sufficient connection and evacuation points for future wind farms. They will also ensure the electricity supply in the north of Fuerteventura as it will strengthen its interconnection with Lanzarote.

Finally, in Tenerife, investments include the construction of three new substations in the areas of Granadilla and Arico (Abona, Poris y Chío), as well as the execution of the project for the lines connecting these substations to the existing transmission grid. These infrastructures are necessary for the evacuation of renewable generation and for the execution of the project for the submarine link from Tenerife to la Gomera, which will significantly strengthen the electricity system on La Gomera.

Actions approved on 28 December 2012

Furthermore, the Red Eléctrica’s investment plan for the Canary Islands contemplates the undertaking of other actions included in the special Programme approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on 28 December 2012, and that amount to €312 million.

The objective of these investments is to have a much more robust grid in each of the Canary Islands’ electricity systems so that a fault in a particular facility neither threatens nor compromises the entire system. In addition, it will facilitate the carrying out of grid maintenance works.

In Gran Canaria, the planned construction of the new Sabinal substation will solve the problem of concentration of the Jinámar substation, improving the safety and security of supply to the north of the island and the metropolitan area.

In Fuerteventura, once administrative permitting processes are completed, Red Eléctrica will be strengthening the transmission grid in the south of the island, an area with a high concentration of tourism and that accounts for 40% of the island’s electricity demand. Currently the supply in the south depends on a single 66 kV line of about 75 km in length.

In Tenerife, once administrative permitting processes are completed, Red Eléctrica will construct the new Caletillas substation and two 220 kV lines, Candelaria to Caletillas and Caletillas to El Rosario and will upgrade the line from Buenos Aires to Candelaria to 220 kV. In addition, the corresponding substations, El Rosario and Buenos Aires, and a 66 kV line between El Rosario and Geneto will be built.

These new infrastructures are aimed at improving the security of supply in the metropolitan area, in the capital and in the north of the island, which currently rely on the Candelaria substation.

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

  • The new Santa Águeda 220/66 kV substation and the 220 kV line connecting it to the grid, as well as the enlargement of the current San Mateo substation.
  • The construction of the los Realejos substation and its connection lines in Tenerife.

€90 million in investment since 2011 to improve the Canary Islands’ transmission grid

In order to improve the electricity infrastructure on the Canary Islands, Red Eléctrica has invested €90 million since 2011. Of this total, €64 million correspond to the MAR project (Grid Asset Improvement) and €26 million to the specific maintenance plan for the islands.

With a total budget of €150 million, Red Eléctrica’s MAR Project (2011-2015) seeks to adapt the transmission grid facilities acquired from Endesa on the Canary Islands in late 2010 to the quality standards of the Company and resolve transmission grid deficiencies, as well as integrate these assets into the Red Eléctrica’s control systems. At present, 43% of these actions have been completed, representing an investment of €64 million.

The efforts carried out by Red Eléctrica to adapt the facilities of the Canary Islands’ transmission grid to the highest quality standards are reflected in a significant reduction in the average duration of power outages in the islands ever since Red Eléctrica became the owner 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 electrical elements with voltages equal to or greater than 66 kV, necessary for the transmission of electricity from power stations to distribution points.

Landscape integration in Sabinal and Caletillas

Red Eléctrica has launched a new methodology for the landscape integration of the most important new substations, by which it aims to maximise the environment as well as reduce their environmental impact on the landscape. This landscape integration methodology will be applied for the first time in the new Sabinal and Caletillas substations (in Gran Canaria and Tenerife respectively).

The Press Office of Red Eléctrica publishes all written and visual information via the Twitter account @RevistaREE.

Also on Facebook through the account Revista Entrelíneas.


From left to right, Carlos Collantes, General Manager of Transmission Division, José Folgado, Chairman, and Andrés Seco, General Manager of System Operation Division during Red Eléctrica’s press conference in the Canary Islands.

From left to right, Carlos Collantes, General Manager of Transmission Division, José Folgado, Chairman, and Andrés Seco, General Manager of System Operation Division during Red Eléctrica’s press conference in the Canary Islands.

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