September 21, 2016. The minister of Energy, Máximo Pacheco, visited the works of the interconnection project of the systems Interconectado del Norte Grande (SING) with the Interconectado Central (SIC) undergone by Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte (TEN), along with regional authorities, executives of TEN, the Red Eléctrica Internacional and ENGIE.
The activity was done in the area of Changos of the commune of Mejillones, the place where the new transformation substation Los Changos will be built, and which has already progressed by 50%.
The interconnection project led by TEN includes a transmission line of double circuit of 500 kV and has accomplished a 60% of global progress. This considers a 76% progress in the transmission line, which considers more than 1,200 of finished access roads, more than 1,200 foundations for concrete towers and more than 500 finished towers and a 50% progress in Substations, which includes progress in civil works, and also 7 autotransformers and 14 field reactors.
During his visit, the Minister of Energy manifested his satisfaction with the progress of the works of this Project, an important Project for the development of electricity in Chile and said that "We are not before a mirage in the desert, as was the case for many years with this interconnection, when the technocrats frustrated any efforts to progress, with their eternal discussion between the use of alternate or continuous current. This work is the emblem of the biggest economic revolution in the last fifteen years in Chile" and he added that without this interconnection "we would not have seen the huge interest of investors to participate in the last power supply tender, and we would not have reached the allotment price of US$ 47 MWh, and we would also not be seeing the explosive growth that we have seen in the development of the generation plants with renewable sources and we would not be adding a total of US$ 6,000 million to our GDP (Gross Domestic Product)".
On the other hand, Axel Levêque, CEO of ENGIE ENERGÍA CHILE (EECL), recalled the importance the Project has both for the company and the country. "This Project is emblematic for our company, as it was our company´s engineers who dreamt of and designed the outline of the Project which would later be recognized as the main Project and as the best alternative to join the two main electric systems of Chile enabling the creation of one sole electricity market, and a more competitive, efficient and reliable one."
On this same line, Roberto García, Corporate Business Diversity Director of Red Eléctrica, a company which became property of TEN at the beginning of the year, said that "Red Eléctrica of Spain has joined this Project and is fully aware of its transcendence, with the illusion and the responsibility of being able to contribute with their experience and technical capacities to a strategic Project for the country which will interconnect for the first time the Chilean electric system".
Volume of works
The building of the TEN transmission line considers more than 3 thou job positions and contemplates the installation of 1,350 transmission towers of 80 meters high, with an approximate extension of 600 kilometers, crossing five communes in two of the regions of the country.
The Project will also move almost 5 thou containers of material, including 38 thou tons of steel, more than 14 thou kilometers of lead wires and 64 thou cubic meters of concrete.
At the same time, the Project contemplates the building of four electric substations: two terminals placed in Mejillones and Copiapó, a transformation substation in Mejillones (Changos area) and a compensation substation in Diego de Almagro.
Because they use alternating current, they will allow the connection of various projects, most of all solar projects placed in the north of the country.
America, where it manages 1,200 km of transmission lines in the South of Peru and participates in Chile through Red Eléctrica Chile, 100% subsidiary of Red Eléctrica Internacional, with a share of 50% of social equity of Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte (TEN).