Rio Madeira Transmission System

The Rio Madeira Transmission System project in Brazil will deliver the electricity generated by two power plants in remote regions of the country to the heart of the Brazilian energy market, fostering economic growth and improving the quality of life for millions. 

Supplied by the Madeira river in the State of Rondonia, the electricity will be transported from Coletora Porto Velho substation through Bipole-1, IE Madeira’s ±600 kVDC Transmission Line, to the Araraquara-2 substation in the State of Sao Paulo. The project also includes a back-to-back integration system in Rondonia to support the development of local infrastructure and reduce energy bills. 

Reliably transporting electricity 

In 2010, IE Madeira awarded SNC-Lavalin the contract to provide the owner’s engineering services for its 2,400-km transmission line, Bipole-1. As of July 2014, the transmission line is the longest in the world with more than 4,900 steel towers. To transport electricity over such a great distance, a direct current transmission system was chosen. Direct current transmission systems use fewer cables, lighter structures and require only the two terminal substations (with appropriate converters). 

Environmental precautions

The transmission  line crosses five states: Rondonia, Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo; eight rivers; 115 km of dense forest, and several existing transmission lines with voltages up to 500kVAC. The route was carefully chosen through aerial mapping and flyovers, and a detailed environmental impact report was produced in order to reduce its impact on flora, fauna and the people living in the affected areas.

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