Uruguay's UTE launches looped grid in northern region

The Campo Palomas wind farm. Source: Abengoa SA

November 25 (Renewables Now) - Uruguay's state-run power company Administracion Nacional de Usinas y Trasmisiones Electricas (UTE) inaugurated last week the extra-high voltage (EHV) transmission line Melo-Tacuarembo to ensure electricity security in the north of the country and allow for the integration of new renewable energy capacity.

The transmission grid in the north was previously configured to have a radial pattern, which left vast areas without electricity when failures in any part of the system occurred. UTE said that now it has closed the loop.

Over the past ten years, the company invested more than a USD 1 billion (EUR 908m) in Uruguay's grid, dedicating half of the amount to the north.

UTE said the changes in Uruguay's power mix, with a massive addition of non-conventional renewables, required higher capacity of the high voltage lines. By 2007, Uruguay only had 1,540 MW of hydro and 487 MW of thermal or fossil fuel-powered capacity installed. In 2019, the installed capacity more than doubled with 1,504 MW of added wind power, 230 MW of solar, 20 MW of mini solar and 410 MW of biomass-fired capacity. While Uruguay's hydroelectric capacity remained the same, thermal power was boosted to 1,183 MW.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.908)

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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