Steady-state technical assessment of an electric interconnection between Chile and Argentina, to export wind power by means of a 345 kV transmission line; including analysis of the policy framework required to manage the transaction.
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Chile is an energy independent country; goal achieved due to the diversification of the energy matrix and promoting exploitation of renewable energies. On the other side, Argentina holds permanent electricity importations from its neighboring countries, relying on these transactions to supply its demand. The Northern Interconnected System (SING) is one of the two major electrical isolated power systems in Chile with current surplus capacity and ongoing renewable energy developments. There is an existent not-operating, 345 kV transmission line between SING and the Interconnected Argentinian System (SADI), which in the past was completely dedicated to transmit power to Chile from a generation plant located in Argentina, without being fully interconnected to SADI. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in restarting the operation of the 345 kV transmission line. Therefore, this work performs a steady-state assessment based on load flow calculations with the computational tool DigSilent Power Factory, in order to evaluate the impact and capabilities of transmitting power from Chile to Argentina. This is done by simulating under-development wind projects that the German company, SoWiTec, has in Chile. The created scenarios also take into account that the exported capacity to Argentina might come from other renewables such as solar power as well as conventional technologies based on gas and coal. Permissible voltage levels and thermal loading are monitored throughout the work, paying especial attention to selected electrical nodes where the 345 kV transmission line is connected and to the wind projects´ points of common coupling with the power system. In the case of exceeding acceptable limits, solutions and measures are proposed and documented.This work also contains a commercial aspect in which the goal was to gain comprehension about the commercial structure that the interconnection SING-SADI will have. Ideas, being at the moment considered to be part of the policy framework to rule the transaction, have been gathered. Required regulation in Chile, possible commercialization modes, proposed scheme to manage the transaction and important features to be included at a regulatory level to empower renewable energies, were stated.