As we know, electricity transmission infrastructures located in rural areas are affected by forest fires. For this reason, it is essential to adopt forest fire prevention, alert and monitoring actions that ensure a good management of the national electricity system and the service maintenance of its infrastructure.
REN’s role in this area is based on three interconnected areas: prevention, related to vegetation management policies; planning and preparation, which involves defining preventive measures to be adopted in each fire season; and action and response, with the involvement of prevention and surveillance teams, including a permanent fire monitoring group coordinated with all the company’s operational areas.
One of the central aspects of REN’s activities relates to vegetation management, which objective is to minimize the high risk of damage that can occur to electricity infrastructure located in forest areas. There is a strong relationship between the defence of these energy infrastructures and the defence of the forest against wildfires. By dividing the forest, resilience is conferred to the territories where these infrastructures are installed and greater security is provided for the operation of the infrastructures.
In addition to the coordination with civil protection agents and its activities in the area of prevention, warning and action in case of fire, REN has invested on developing innovative solutions that constantly improve its activities at these levels, particularly through its participation in the rePLANt project.
In addition to the simulator developed by the University of Coimbra and whereness, REN is installing monitoring systems in the infrastructures of three demonstration areas, selected for its diversity of territory, but with the same profile regarding to rural fire pressure. The first system is currently installed in Parque Serras do Porto, been preceded by laboratory tests in adverse environments with electric and magnetic fields, tests on installation methods and team training, in order to accelerate the setting of the remaining systems in this park and in central and southern areas of the country.