Arantec supplies and installs the equipment of a Smarty Meteo nivometeorological station at the Aguayo de Viesgo power plant

Arantec suministra e instala los equipos de una estación nivometeorológica Smarty Meteo en la central de Aguayo de Viesgo

Viesgo is an energy company dedicated to generating, distributing, and marketing electricity and gas, with a team of over 1,000 professionals serving more than 730,000 customers in Spain and Portugal.

Viesgo operates in the regulated electricity distribution market and in the liberalized markets of electricity generation and electricity and gas commercialization.

Currently, it distributes electricity through a network infrastructure of 31,150 kilometers and has a generation capacity of 3,755 MW of conventional and renewable energy throughout the Iberian Peninsula.

Among the renewable energies, the company’s hydroelectric power plants located in northern Spain stand out, with a production capacity of 704 MW. The main one is the Aguayo-Aguilar Group, which includes the four hydroelectric power plants of Aguayo, Torina, Besaya, and Aguilar, located on the Torina, Besaya, and Pisuerga rivers in the provinces of Palencia and Cantabria. It has an installed capacity of 388 MW.

The Aguayo hydroelectric power plant, located in San Miguel de Aguayo (Cantabria), has been in operation since 1982. It currently contributes 38% of the installed electric generation capacity in Cantabria.

It is a reversible power plant, also known as a pumping power plant. This type of power plant has the characteristic of being able to store electrical energy, unlike other types of power plants such as hydraulic, thermal, nuclear, or wind. This differential advantage allows it to be used within the electrical system to compensate for periods of excess production by storing energy and periods of excess demand by generating energy. During periods of low demand, usually at night and on weekends, surplus electrical energy in the system is used to pump large amounts of water into an elevated reservoir. When additional electrical energy is required due to high demand, the water is released into the lower reservoir to drive turbines that generate electricity.

The Aguayo plant uses the Alsa reservoir as the lower reservoir and the Mediajo reservoir as the upper reservoir.

Due to the importance of this power plant, Viesgo has decided to install a complete nivometeorological station (temperature, humidity, wind, snow depth, incident radiation, heated rain gauge) in order to monitor environmental values and potential avalanches that could occur on the facilities. The station is powered by a 220V electrical supply and has ADSL communication. It is located between the power plant facilities and the lower dam.

A group of workers travels daily to the lower dam, crossing a 3 km road that is highly exposed to avalanches. These grassy slopes have a smooth gradient of around 40º and, despite their modest altitude, frequently experience avalanches.

To reduce the risk to which workers are exposed, a snow safety protocol has been implemented based on the values recorded by the nivometeorological station.

Arantec Engineering, through its Smarty Meteo solution, has supplied the equipment and carried out the installation on a foldable mast within an enclosed area, as shown in the following images.

Currently, Arantec also performs the maintenance of the station.

With these works, Arantec expands its presence within the national territory to Cantabria and, more importantly, provides services to a strategic sector such as hydroelectric power generation.

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