Colombia: Codensa's Record-Breaking Electricity Grid

Published on Monday, 15 June 2015

A record-breaking electricity infrastructure for Colombia and for Codensa, the Enel Group company that operates in the Latin American country's distribution and retail market. In Bacatá, a neighbourhood in the capital Bogotá, the company has recently put into service the largest transformation substation (SSE) in Colombia, a 500 kV electricity grid hub that marks the first step of a development project for the whole distribution system.

Thanks to an investment of 82billion Colombian pesos (COP), equivalent to more than €28.5 million, Codensa has in fact doubled the station's capacity - where the voltage level is reduced from 500 to 115 kV to supply the grid - in a two-stage operation that has allowed the infrastructure to achieve the capacity needed to manage an amount of energy equivalent to that simultaneously consumed by a city as large as Barranquilla that, with more than one million inhabitants, is the fourth in Colombia - and by the entire department of Boyacà.

Codensa is a leader in Colombia both in energy distribution and sale, with 2.8 million customers. It operates in the capital Bogotá, in 97 municipalities in the Cundinamarca department, in eight of that of Boyacá and in one of that of Tolima. The enhancement of the Bacatá substation strengthens the Enel Group company's infrastructure and is part of a long-term grid implementation strategy aimed to improve the service's quality levels and increase the reliability of the whole domestic electricity grid. In fact, the station's cutting-edge characteristics include a backup operational system that enables response to to failures of the station's equipment without having to turn it off and interrupt the service.

Codensa has also achieved an efficiency record when it completed Batacá. By employing a team of almost a hundred people including engineers, electricity technicians, specialists and logistics experts, the Enel Group company managed to complete the substation in only 14 months, while this type of construction usually requires around two and a half years.

Bacatá paves the way to a system of substations of 500 kV with which Codensa is planning on building the largest high-voltage ring in Colombia. In fact, over the next years another two substations will start to be built: Nueva Esperanza and Norte. "This plan is part of the Codensa investment strategy to appropriately respond to growing demand and improve the quality of service provided to our customers. Commercial startup of this infrastructure additionally strengthens the City and its energy system increasing its reliability and stability", Codensa CEO David Felipe Acosta pointed out.