The newly upgraded Avelgem-Avelin 380 kV line provides a critical connection between two major European Transmission System Operators, Elia and RTE. The line also delivers a major plank towards achieving Europe’s TYNDP (Ten Year Network Development Plan) goals and European solidarity in electricity supply.
Whilst the project is officially titled Avelgem-Avelin, one of the two circuits on the French side of the border by-passes the Avelin substation and continues on to the Mastaign substation.
On the Elia side, the upgrade of one circuit using ACCC® Antwerp ULS effectively doubles the transmission capacity from 1.5GW to 3GW, sufficient to supply three million households. This upgrade delivers three key goals for Elia: security of supply, market integration and future-proofing to accommodate renewables generation.
Important for Elia was the leverage of existing routes with the minimum possible disruption. On the Elia side, this required the upgrading of a 23 kilometer line running between Avelgem and Avelin on the French border, with one circuit by-passing to the nearby Mastaign substation the Belgian-French border near Avelin. The ACCC® Antwerp ULS conductor used by Elia was manufactured by Lamifil in Belgium.
CTC Global further supported Lamifil and Elia with the provision of comprehensive site supervision, ensuring the conductor was correctly installed. Since two or more pull sites were operating concurrently with extensive use of mid-span joints, this required significant resourcing and coordination.
Elia first tested ACCC Conductor in 2009; since then, a total of nearly 2,300 kilometers of this conductor has been installed on their network on both 150 kV and 380 kV backbone networks. “We have gained great expertise and experience in this conductor technology in the intervening years,” advised Jean-François Goffinet, Elia’s technical lead. “Elia has also worked closely with CTC Global and Lamifil to develop experience-led innovations, such as the ACCC InfoCore® installation inspection system and other enhancements.”
“European TSOs are increasingly implementing Advanced Conductors on their networks,” advised Peter Hughes, CTC Global’s VP Europe. “TSOs and DSOs quickly see that this technology delivers not only lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), but also greatly simplified permitting and lowest overall project costs. The Avelgem-Avelin project is a textbook case of the benefits Advanced Conductor technology bring.”
The Avelgem-Avelin line was energized on November 4th and officially opened on December 2nd in a ceremony involving dignitaries from both RTE and Elia, as well as regional government.