Viesgo is an energy company dedicated to generating, distributing and commercialize electricity and gas, with a team of more than 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 for electricity generation and electricity and gas commercialization.
Currently, it distributes electricity through an infrastructure of 31,150 kilometers of network and has a generator park of 3,755 MW of conventional and renewable energy throughout the Iberian Peninsula
Among the renewable energies, the company’s hydroelectric plants stand out, located in the north of Spain and have a production of 704 MW, the main one being the Agrupación Aguayo-Aguilar, which includes four hydroelectric power plants of Aguayo, Torina, Besaya and Aguilar, located on the rivers Torina, Besaya and Pisuerga, in the provinces of Palencia and Cantabria. It has an installed capacity of 388 MW.
The Aguayo hydroelectric power station, located in San Miguel de Aguayo (Cantabria), has been in operation since 1982. It currently contributes 38% of the installed power generation capacity in Cantabria.
It is a reversible plant, also called pumping. This type of power plants present with respect to the rest (hydraulic, thermal, nuclear, wind, etc.) the characteristic that they are capable of storing electrical energy. This differential advantage allows its use within the electrical system to compensate the moments in which there is excess production, accumulating energy, and the moments of excess demand (generating energy). For this, in the hours of low demand (nights and weekends fundamentally), the excess electrical energy in the system is used to pump huge quantities of water to an elevated reservoir. At times when additional electric power is required due to high demand, the water is allowed to fall to the lower reservoir, to move the turbines that generate electricity again.
La planta de Aguayo utiliza como depósito inferior el embalse de Alsa y como depósito superior el embalse de Mediajo.
The Aguayo plant uses the Alsa reservoir as a lower reservoir and the Mediajo reservoir as the upper reservoir.
Due to the importance of this plant Viesgo has decided to install – in order to control the environmental values and the possible avalanches or avalanches that could happen on the installations – a complete nivometeorological station (temperature, humidity, wind, thickness of snow, incident radiation, heated rain gauge), with 220v mains supply and ADSL communication, located between the dependencies of the power station and the lower dam.
A group of workers moves daily to the lower dam. To do so, they must cross 3 km of road that is heavily exposed to avalanches. It is about grassy and smooth slopes of about 40º of inclination, that in spite of its modest level produce avalanches frequently.
To reduce the risk to which workers are exposed, a snow safety protocol has been put into operation, which is activated based on the values recorded by the weather station.
Arantec Engineering through its Smarty Meteo solution, has supplied the equipment and has made the installation in a folding mast made the enclosure, as seen in the following images
Currently Arantec also performs the maintenance of the station.
With these works Arantec expands its expansion within the national territory to Cantabria and, what is more important, it serves a strategic sector such as the generation of energy through hydroelectric power plants.