The General Manager of Transmission Division for Red Eléctrica de España, Carlos Collantes, the President of the Balearic Islands’ Government, José Ramón Bauzá, and the President of the Insular Government of Ibiza, Vicent Serra, today presented the Ibiza-Majorca submarine electricity interconnection at the Pueblo de Jesús Cultural Centre. The event began with a welcome speech from the Mayor of Santa Eulalia del Río, Vicent Marí and finished with the technical presentation of the link by the project manager, Juan Prieto.
Red Eléctrica will soon begin laying the submarine cable for the electricity interconnection between Majorca and Ibiza. The cable-laying ship Skagerrak, which has travelled from Norway, will begin the installation of the longest three-phase submarine cable in alternating current (AC) in the world that will go from the Bay of Talamanca, in Ibiza, to the Bay of Santa Ponsa, Majorca. Red Eléctrica will invest in this project, called Rómulo 2, a total of 225 million euros.
The submarine electricity interconnection between Majorca and Ibiza is very important for the Balearic Islands, as it will guarantee the stability and quality of supply of the islands of Ibiza and Formentera and solve the problem of energy isolation of the islands, linking up the two existing electricity systems (Majorca-Menorca and Ibiza-Formentera) and strengthening the process initiated for the electricity interconnection between Majorca and mainland Spain.
The link, which will come into service for a trial period in 2015, will save costs in the Balearic Islands’ electricity system, given the reduced need for generation and the use of energy sources that are technically and economically more efficient and less polluting.
A pioneering project from a technological viewpoint
The interconnection will be carried out in alternating current through a double link submarine connection of 132 kilovolts (kV). With a length of 126 km, it will consist of two three-phase cables with integrated fibre optics. Based on the characteristics of this installation, it is a pioneering project and a technological challenge of the highest level. Thus, the underwater section of the link, 118 km, is the longest in the world in AC and the deepest in its class, as it runs along the seabed at depths of up to 800 metres.
The land sections of this link, both in Ibiza and Majorca will be buried underground. In Majorca, the 3 km underground route will run from the Santa Ponsa substation to the entry point of the link into the Bay of Santa Ponsa, taking advantage of the previous route of the Majorca-Spanish Peninsula link. In Ibiza, the 5 km route will run through the town of Santa Eulalia del Río, from the entry point of the link in Sa Punta to the Torrent substation.
Commitment to the environment and society
Red Eléctrica maintains a strict commitment to sustainability; conservation of natural resources, natural fauna and flora habitats (terrestrial and marine), and the promotion of cultural heritage and society in general. From the outset of the design phase of interconnection, a whole range of preventive and corrective measures have been planned in order to minimise the effects of the new infrastructure on the environment. Red Eléctrica has earmarked a total of 2,200,000 euros towards the compliance with the environmental requirements of the Majorca-Ibiza interconnection.
Works are being carried out on the excavation and conservation of the archaeological site, located in the premises of the Torrent substation, which contains remains from the late-Punic and Byzantine period; a project in which the Company has invested over 700,000 euros. In addition, the interconnection involves the introduction of generation technologies that reduce CO2 emissions. For example, noteworthy is the annual reduction of 250,000 tonnes of CO2 that has been achieved thru the use of the Majorca-Spanish Peninsula interconnection. This commitment to sustainability, the territory and society is set out in the schedule of marine activities and critical works that are carried out during the tourism off-season.