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electric lines

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The electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) market is currently undergoing a major change as several countries are striving for better efficiencies, developing more suitable sources of renewable energy and are upgrading their transmission lines to higher voltages in order to reduce transmission losses, according to GlobalData.

The company’s latest report,‘Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Market Infrastructure, Upcoming Projects, Investments, Key Operators, and Key Country Analysis to 2025’ reveals that based on upcoming transmission line projects under various stages of development, China and India are set to add the most transmission lines, between 2018 and 2025.

China is increasing its renewable power generation each year, a country where the consumption hotspots are usually far apart. India, however, still has several parts of the country that do not have access to electricity. To connect these regions to the grid, and to connect the increasing power capacity to the supply network, transmission and distribution lines are being added at a significant rate every year.

Technological changes and upgrades are being made in the T&D market in order to make the transmission systems more stable against the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources. Increasing renewable power capacity has increased the need for countries to interconnect their transmission systems in order to balance generation and demand through the export and import of electricity. This in turn has pushed the construction of higher capacity interconnection lines.

Similar to transmission lines, the distribution line market is also witnessing rapid transformation in European countries, India, and China, either in terms of volume or advancement in technology. In underdeveloped and developing countries, the growth in the market is brought about by the expansion of their respective grids to provide electricity to all parts of the country. In developed countries where there is universal access to electricity, the growth of the distribution market is in terms of upgradation of these lines with advanced technologies.

In these countries, distribution utilities that would previously only connect generation sources to consumption points are now turning into electricity aggregators sourcing electricity not only from large generating stations, but also from distributed. It is in these countries that the use of electric vehicles is steadily increasing and distribution companies are creating new avenues of business by providing the requisite infrastructure along with the existing network.

Sacyr Industrial, a company of the Sacyr group which develops EPC services and projects for industrial infrastructures and installations, and Isotrón have signed a collaboration agreement to bid jointly in EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) electricity generation and transmission tenders.
The agreement means that Sacyr Industrial and Isotrón will participate equally and jointly in EPC tenders on electrical lines, electricity substations, thermal generation plants (gas, diesel, biomass and others) and renewable energy plants (photovoltaic, solar and wind).

The association will include the excellent references and execution resources of Isotrón and the important international management capacity of Sacyr Industrial, focusing initially on the markets and/or customers where both partners have a significant influence capacity.

Sacyr Industrial is an affiliate of the Sacyr group, developing engineering and industrial construction projects in the oil and gas, electrical infrastructure, power plants and waste management sectors. It operates a major growth strategy with various projects in the oil & gas sector, electricity infrastructures, power plants and waste processing facilities in the United Kingdom, Australia, Bolivia, Colombia, Panama, Mexico and Peru, and also in Spain.

Sacyr Industrial has recently set up Sacyr Fluor after the acquisition of a 50% stake in the Spanish subsidiary of the Fluor Corporation. The new company shall no doubt boost the growth of the group’s industrial subsidiary by way of its engineering services and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) projects in the oil and gas sector and the onshore petrochemical industry in Spain, Southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and several Latin American countries. Sacyr Nervión has also been constituted along with Nervión Industries, each company having a 50% participation, to bid for projects focused on the comprehensive repair of all kinds of storage tanks in any place of the world, giving maintenance services to refineries and other productive facilities of the Oil&Gas sector and other selective industrial site maintenance and assembly projects.

The operations of this contract meet the new strategic targets set by Sacyr to boost its construction and operating concession business, along with its services and industrial activities, thus increasing its market share and capacity to take on big business challenges. The foregoing will no doubt see the company become an international touchstone for the sectors and countries in which it operates.

Isotrón, a member of the Isastur group, has extensive experience in the engineering, assembly, start-up and maintenance of electromechanical installations, instrumentation, regulation and control in energy production (thermoelectric, hydraulic, renewable), petrochemicals, environment (water purification, seawater desalination) and electrical infrastructures (lines and substations). It has carried out important projects in Europe (France, Holland, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Romania and Russia), America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Uruguay and Venezuela), Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Egypt), and in Angola, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen and China. The company has a stable presence in Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil and Uruguay.

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Endesa has deployed a total of 14 drones in Spain to inspect their electricity lines. These drones will be used in all the areas where Endesa has overhead power lines: Catalonia, Andalusia, Aragon, the Balearic and Canary Islands. The use of these unmanned aerial vehicles will complement the helicopter inspections that are currently undertaken, especially when inspecting areas with difficult access. This will support the work done by the technicians thereby improving their safety in performing inspection tasks.

In Catalonia, a total of 7 drones have been working since 2013, with excellent results thanks to their high quality recordings. Their use speeds up inspections as the work of the technicians on the grid is reduced, in turn reducing the need to cut the supply. It also improves the quality and continuity of the service, at the same time as offering greater safety to the workers that perform the inspections.

After the good results obtained in Catalonia, Endesa is starting the process of training the pilots of the 7 drones that will be available to inspect the rest of the lines in Spain, which are expected to be fully operational by June.

These devices are able to take off and land on their own using electrical propulsion, and they can automatically maintain a constant position and height thanks to their GPS and barometric control systems. As an extra safety measure they also incorporate a system that, in case of signal loss, automatically returns the unit to its starting point.

These remotely controlled devices are equipped with high-resolution cameras and thermal imagers. They weigh around four kilos and are some 75 centimetres in diameter, including their rotor blades, of which they can have four, six or eight. In order to guarantee the quality of their images the cameras on the drones used by Endesa are equipped with gyroscopic stabilisers that allow sharp, high quality images to be taken of the power lines.

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