As the Portuguese National Electricity System global technical manager, REN - Rede Elétrica Nacional is the entity responsible for the security and continuity of the electricity service, whith its Dispatch Centre permanently ensuring the balance between the generation and consumption of electricity.
Under the concession contract with the Portuguese Government, REN develops and operates the Portuguese National Transmission Network, which covers the whole of mainland Portugal and the interconnections with the Spanish electricity grid.
The Portuguese National Transmission Grid connects the major energy producers to the consumption centres, through delivery points, which supply the major industrial consumers and ensure the connections to the distribution network, from which the majority of the final consumers are supplied.
The management of the electricity system is increasingly complex. The challenges that REN is monitoring across all its areas of activity are the energy transition and the increase in renewable energies – especially solar and wind –, the increasingly geographically more dispersed generation, the new consumption patterns and the new big consumers, the development of the markets, and the European integration.
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The Transmission Network value chain includes Planning, Investment, Operation, and Management of the System.
REN is responsible for planning studies on the evolution of the transmission grid, in order to match the grid development plans to the generation and consumption forecasts. These studies must be sent to the competent authorities, without whose approval it is not possible to move forward to the investment stage. It is also REN’s legal obligation to collaborate in the preparation of official studies on the security of the country's electricity supply, in a medium/long-term perspective.
The investment in the transmission network materialises the network evolution plans, by adapting the system to the evolution in national consumption and to the development of new generation centres, which in recent years are mainly of a renewable nature (solar and wind). The investment also guarantees the interconnection capacity with the Spanish system and, through the latter, with the European system, establishing adequate safety and market integration standards.
REN operates the 400 kV, 220 kV, and 150 kV extra-high-voltage grid, lines, and respective substations. The Operation has the task of keeping all equipment and systems operational, in order to meet high safety and service quality standards in an efficient manner.
The System Management is carried out through the Dispatch Centre, ensuring the balance between generation and consumption in an uninterrupted manner. REN ensures the management of the transmission grid and the interconnection with the European system, manages the Portuguese national system services markets and their integration in the corresponding European markets, enabling Portuguese producers and consumers to participate in the electricity system’s balancing processes.
The Development and Investment Plan for the Electricity Transmission Grid for the period 2022-2031 was approved by the Secretary of State for the Environment and Energy, in December 2022.
Association of experts dedicated to macro studies of the electricity sector
European Association of Electricity Transmission System Operators
Association of Mediterranean electricity transmission system operators
Southwest Europe Electricity Interconnection
Center for European Studies on Regulatory Affairs
Organization that brings together operators of the European electric transport system