San Juan Solidifies Itself as a Generator of Clean Energy With New Electrical Substation


Sergio Uñac, provincial governor, headed the inaugural act of the substation in the department of Ullum. Accompanying him was the minister of infrastructure Julio Ortiz Andino, mayor Leopoldo Soler, EPSE president Victor Doña, all alongside plant workers.

The project has the primary goal of contributing to the transformation of the Argentine energy mix by means of solar energy.

The main project began alongside the first solar park in 2011, being the first to be grid-connected in Argentina and South America. After its inauguration, it remained as an advanced laboratory and observation platform holding various types of industrial technology with investigation being the main motive. In this way, it was able to be known what types of installations are the most adequate for the region and also follow advances in the PV industry.

Victor Doña, president of EPSE, conducted a broad technical review of the project and highlighted that the National Sub-secretary for Renewable Energy, together with the University of Buenos Aires, decided to evaluate San Juan by means of the Provincial Index of Attractiveness in Renewables (IPAR). In this sense, our province finds itself in 2nd place only to Buenos Aires. “We promise to advance in this respect,” concluded Doña.

Finally, the governor added that “all of these solar parks are attractive to new investments for the department (county). It brings pride to give these hectares on behalf of the municipality a new use as a solar park. In this case, work done between the mayor and EPSE. This is real and it enlarges San Juan and Ullum.”

“I believe that in San Juan we are putting this in the right place as of some time. From 2003 up to the date, there has been an order within the state that allows us not only to grow, but also to project over time. I think that the great challenge is to be able to plan with respect to this. The energy matrix is fundamental for the development of the economic activities of the province, and it could be no other way. San Juan has multiplied its economic activities, to agriculture we can add industry, mining, tourism and renewable energy. For everything mentioned, energy is needed. I have no doubt that many investments will be received in San Juan. We have a great capacity in our workforce in the province, as those that arrive will have backing from the state to generate job posts,” Doña added.

In closing, Uñac said that the 23 companies making up the project “have seen the opportunity for developing business in San Juan. The observed that there is low conflict in terms of labor and the is a necessary ingredient to generate an environment where businesses can thrive. With that, the public sector and the private sector should have just one goal—to build in terms of the wellbeing that the community needs.”

EPSE is responsible for operation and maintenance of the solar plant. The company proposed an expansion of renewable energy production and created the Ullum solar park that is to develop 1053 hectares, 379 MW of power, with an annual energy output of 720,000 MW, enough to supply 160,000 homes with power.

This land already has three projects implemented that have been commissioned:

Ullum PV Plant III – 120 hectares, 32 MW peak power.

Ullum PV Plant VI – 65 hectares, 25 MW peak power.

Ullum PV Plant VII – 65 hectares, 25 MW peak power.

The end goal is to create a connection between these generating plants and the national grid. For this, the construction of a double-circuit powerline at 132 kV was considered alongside the construction of the Ullum Solar Electrical Substation that is strategically located now on site in Ullum.

The realization of this project was divided into two phases:

Phase 1: The powerline that permits the electric substation at Punta Negra and the electric substation at Punta de Rieles, which are located at opposite extremes on the territory.

Phase 2: here is where EPSE takes on the expansion of the Ullum solar electric substation and the construction of a new power line to join the Ullum substation with that of Albardon-Chimbas. This will allow the transmission of the capacity installed at the Ullum substation to be 400 MW.

Once both phases are complete, the electric substation will come to be, for the San Juan grid, the most important generation point.

Technical details of the Ullum Electrical Substation:

132 kV / 33 kV electrical substation with a surface making up approximately 4.5 hectares. It has electrical equipment for low, medium and high tension that has two 100 MVA transformers each. It also has control and protective equipment, a control building for the substation, and a storage area. The civil work as a whole allows operation in a trustworthy manner.

Main characteristics of the project

The electrical substation has a double-busbar configuration, with a capacity for 9 fields at 132 kV:

Four 132 kV line outputs (one line to Punta Negra and another to Punta de Rieles)

Four transformer outputs at 100 MVA each. (In phase 1, only two were built)

A transversal busbar coupling unit at 132 kV

The works include a command building, where the panels are held for all of the installations. This is where the control, protection, measurement, marking, alarm, fire, centralized safety system, communications and telecontrol are held, alongside the civil works necessary to hold the electrical and mechanical equipment.

The high-tension powerline is 5.4 Km long, and runs alongside provincial highway 54. It is able to use the double circuit with AI/Ac 300/50 mm2 conductors per section and a OPGW ground cable.

Among the general characteristics of the design of the high-tension powerline, the following can be said: It possess two circuits, 34 prestressed-concrete posts with double jumper struts to help form the double circuits. The average height of the posts is 25 meters.

The project continues advancing and innovating, and such makes San Juan into an example of clean energy production, setting itself up as the most-sustainable province in the future.

Unidad de Comunicación EPSE