22 AUG 2023

i-DE, Iberdrola España's distribution company, commissions a new substation in Cuenca to promote the electrification of heavy road transport

  • The new facility, located in the municipality of Atalaya del Cañavate, has required an investment of €4.3 million.
  • Its strategic location makes it a particularly relevant action for achieving decarbonisation goals through electric mobility.
  • The installation can simultaneously serve 120 points of 150 kW or 50 points of 350 kW, and allows the possibility of multiplying these figures by six.

i-DE, the Iberdrola group’s distribution company,External link, opens in new window.  has commissioned the new ST Caparral electricity substation in the municipality of Atalaya del Cañavate (Cuenca). With an investment of €4.3 million, it will enable the deployment of an important network of high-power charging points for electric vehicles, as well as contributing to economic development and improving the guarantee of supply in the La Mancha and Manchuela regions of Cuenca.

The new infrastructure will have a 20 megavolt-ampere (MVA) transformer, enough to simultaneously serve 120 150 kW fast charging pointsExternal link, opens in new window.  or 50 350 kW points, the minimum power established for charging points for heavy vehicles by the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation, while improving the service guarantee for customers in the surrounding towns. 

In addition, it can be expanded with up to three 40 MVA transformers, which would mean up to 120 MVA, a capacity that would multiply the number of recharging points by six. 

The company has installed HIS (Hybrid Insulated Switchgear) technology in the substation, which increases the safety of the installation and reduces its dimensions compared to other technologies for outdoor installations, while at the same time improving operation and maintenance.

The installation is part of the initiatives eligible for funding under the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, which regulates the granting of direct subsidies to electricity distribution companies for investments in the digitalisation of distribution networks and infrastructure for electric vehicle charging.

Boosting electric mobility

The strategic location of the substation, next to the crossroads between the Eastern motorway (A-3), the Alicante motorway (A-31) and the Guadiana motorway (A-43) makes it a particularly relevant action when it comes to achieving the objectives of decarbonisation of the economy, promoting electric mobility, especially in heavy transport.External link, opens in new window. 

This action is part of i-DE's investment plan to promote the electrification of road transport through the development and upgrading of electricity distribution networks with the aim of making the deployment of a large network of public access electric vehicle charging points viable in the short, medium and long term, ensuring maximum efficiency. 

The substation contributes to compliance with the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation, recently approved by the European Commission, which obliges member countries to install fast charging stations for cars, vans and heavy electric vehicles every 60 kilometres along the main transport corridors of the European Union by 2026.

A robust, flexible and digitalised electricity network

In Castilla-La Mancha, i-DE manages more than 26,000 km of low and medium voltage lines and nearly 2,600 km of high and very high voltage lines. It also has nearly 9,600 transformation centres in service and 76 substations. The company plans to invest 222 million euros in smart gridsExternal link, opens in new window.  in Castilla-La Mancha between 2023 and 2025, with the aim of reactivating the economy and employment and achieving the decarbonisation targets committed to in the PNIEC.

The transformation of the grids into a robust, flexible and intelligent infrastructure makes it possible to respond to the challenges of the electrification of the electricity system, with greater integration of renewables, the development of sustainable mobilityExternal link, opens in new window. , smart cities and self-consumption, as well as giving consumers greater decision-making capacity and connectivity.

The deployment of resources to restore service and minimise the impact on customers is a priority for the company. For this reason, and taking advantage of the synergies created around the automation and digitalisation of the grid, in 2022, it managed to restore electricity supply to 70% of its customers in less than 30 minutes in the event of extraordinary events. Specifically, in Castilla-La Mancha, i-DE improved the quality of the electricity supply it offers its customers by 37%.