Chile has an installed power capacity of around 18.2 gigawatts and relies predominantly on thermal and hydro power generation to serve the growing electricity needs of around 17.5 million people – demand is expected to grow by five percent every year in the period leading up to 2030.
To meet this demand the country is expanding its transmission network, which includes new transmission lines, between Alto Melipilla and Rapel as well as connecting Lo Aguirre and Alto Melipilla. This expansion will be supported by two new substations, to be built by ABB, which will help to reinforce the Central Interconnected Grid (SIC). The SIC serves the central part of Chile spanning from the Atacama region in the north to Los Lagos region in the south, accounting for about 75 percent of the total Chilean power capacity, serving more than 90 percent of the population.
“These substations will help to extend and strengthen the grid, enhancing power supplies to meet the increasing demand for electricity and contributing to economic development,” said Oleg Aleinikov, head of ABB’s Substations business, a part of the company’s Power Systems division. “ABB’s latest technologies such as the compact GIS will help reduce the substation’s footprint significantly, while ensuring efficiency and reliability.”
As part of the turnkey contract with Eletrans, ABB will design, supply, install and commission a gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation at Alto Melipilla in the southwest of the Santiago Metropolitan Region, and an air-insulated switchgear (AIS) substation close to the existing Rapel substation in the Sixth Region, south of the capital. Key products and systems to be supplied include high-voltage equipment, IEC 61850 based open control, protection and telecommunication systems as well as ancillary systems.
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