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SIEPAC Countries: Growth in Electricity Transmission Network [free access]

December 10, 2019

The SIEPAC countries, excluding Honduras, have witnessed a significant expansion in the transmission line network, which stood at about 15,703 km in 2018 at voltage levels of 69 kV and above. The region saw an addition of about 3,217 km during the 2013-18 five-year period, increasing from 12,593 km at a CAGR of about 4.5 per cent.

 

The majority of this line network was in Guatemala (38 per cent), followed by Panama and Nicaragua at 19 per cent, Costa Rica at 15 per cent and El Salvador at 8 per cent.

 

Table 1: Growth in transmission line length (km) for 2013-18

Country

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Costa Rica

2,146

2,143

2,261

2,329

2,375

2,376

El Salvador

1,371

1,371

1,357

1,371

1,372

1,265

Guatemala1

4,327

5,052

5,306

5,618

5,792

6,030

Nicaragua1

2,580

2,987

3,010

2,984

2,976

2,976

Panama2

2,169

2,169

2,170

2,170

3,056

3,056

Total

12,593

13,722

14,104

14,472

15,571

15,703

Notes: 1­–For Guatemala and Nicaragua, data for 2018 has been estimated based on past CAGR; 2–Panama’s line length has been converted from circuit km to km.

Source: Plan de Expansión de la Transmisión 2019–2029, ICE; monitoring reports, ICE; SIGET; Comisión Nacional de Energía Eléctrica (CNEE); INE; Autoridad de Servicios Publico (ASEP); Global Transmission Research

 

Transformer capacity increased at a CAGR of 4.1 per cent during 2013-18, bringing the total capacity to 25,840 MVA in 2018 from 21,093 MVA in 2013, with Costa Rica contributing 42 per cent to the capacity.

 

Table 2: Growth in transformer capacity (MVA) for 2013-18

Country

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Costa Rica

9,537

9,819

10,344

11,108

10,975

10,921

El Salvador

2,618

2,386

2,134

2,134

2,134

2,134

Guatemala1

4,799

5,130

4,745

5,534

5,815

6,130

Nicaragua2

2,120

2,330

2,670

2,924

3,710

4,051

Panama

2,020

2,020

2,194

2,194

2,253

2,603

Total

21,093

21,684

22,087

23,894

24,888

25,840

Notes: 1­–For Guatemala, data for 2017 and 2018 has been estimated based on past CAGR; 2–For Nicaragua, data for 2018 has been estimated based on past CAGR.

Source: Plan de Expansión de la Transmisión 2019–2029, ICE; monitoring reports, ICE; SIGET; Comisión Nacional de Energía Eléctrica (CNEE); INE; Autoridad de Servicios Publico (ASEP); Global Transmission Research 

 

In 2018, the majority or about 52 per cent of transmission lines were at the 69 kV to 138 kV voltage levels and only one SIEPAC country, i.e., Guatemala, had a transmission line at the 400 kV voltage level. Also, no additions have been made at 400 kV during the past five years. The share of the 230 kV network across the region increased by 3 per cent while the share of the 115 kV network reduced by 3 per cent, and the share of other voltage levels remained the same.

 

Figure 1: Transmission network in 2013 and 2018, by voltage (%)


Source: Global Transmission Research

 

49 per cent of transformer capacity was at the 230 kV voltage level in 2018, which remained the same during 2013-18, while the transformer capacity at 220 kV and 138 kV increased by 2 and 3 per cent respectively during this period.

Figure 2: Transformer capacity in 2013 and 2018, by voltage (%)


Source: Global Transmission Research