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Bad weather in the PACA region and consequences on the Power Transmission System

Source: RTE 01/03/2001

At 5.30 p.m., RTE restores continuity of power supply to the power transmission system of south-eastern France

Since Tuesday 27 February, an extremely unusual meteorological phenomenon of sticky snow occurred in the south-eastern part of France causing overloads on the lines of the transmission system and damage to power lines and towers.

At 5.30 p.m. on 28 February, the high and extra high voltage grid, managed by RTE, had restored the power supply of all the delivery point substations of the distributor EDF in the Pyrénée-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.

In the most critical period of the day, power transmission was interrupted on eighteen 63 kV and 225 kV lines. About 300 km of lines out of a total of 4,000 km of lines were affected, i.e. 7.5% of the network in the area struck by the bad weather.

At 5.30 p.m., 12 lines had not yet been re-energised in the Haut Var area and in the southern Alps of Haute-Provence. Some thirty towers were damaged following the exceptional accumulation of snow on power cables, causing substantial overloads on the structures.

Temporary repairs have been undertaken and RTE has made use of exceptional resources. The Priority Troubleshooting Group, a unit created after the storms of late 1999, were activated, and helicopter, equipment and team reinforcements were conveyed to the region in order to perform the maximum number of repairs possible before night. Final repairs as far as the most damaged lines are concerned will be spread out over a period of several weeks.

Réseau de Transport d'Electricité (RTE), the French Transmission System Operator created on 1 July 2000 and an independent entity within EDF, is entrusted with operating the HV and EHV transmission network supplying the electricity distributors (EDF, independent public corporations and non-nationalised distributors).. This network is made up of 100,000 km of lines with voltages between 63 kV and 400 kV.

Press Officers:
Olivier PERDRIZET: 04 91 30 96 21 in MARSEILLE
Agnès BADER: 01 41 02 16 78 in PARIS