Quality of the electricity network

Guaranteeing the quality and continuity of electricity supply is one of the essential duties undertaken by Enedis. Even though it currently offers one of the best supply qualities in Europe, the business must keep investing and innovating. The objective is to rise to the two-fold challenge of developing the network and including production sites that use renewable energies.

The main indicator for measuring network quality is the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) for customers supplied with low voltage electricity (excluding extraordinary circumstances and outages caused by the transmission network).  In increase for several years, this duration is established to 73 mn. This improvement is the direct result of the policies of preventive maintenance and investments targeted on the inheritance at the risk.

Electricity is currently generated by large power stations using hydraulic, nuclear or thermal energy. However, decentralised units choosing renewable energies (solar energy, wind farms, etc.) are developing quickly. These connections mean the network must be able to handle sporadic electricity production and be able to transmit this electricity to consumers.

To improve supply quality and to adapt the public distribution network to new uses, Enedis committed to a major 10-year investment plan beginning in 2006.

In 2011, the company dedicated almost €1 003 million to improving the quality of service and the safety of the network Security of the electricity network . These investments were again increased They were made possible by the increase in the TURPE, the public network usage tariff.

The primary investments are those in maintenance of performance and network security, as well as major incident management.

  • Burying lines

This operation removes the risk of weather damage (such as storms) to lines. On average, 16,500 km of underground cables are laid by Enedis every year .

  • Strengthening weak network areas

Enedis is working towards removing all bare wires and replacing them with underground cables. The company also equips the network with automated equipment enabling fast re-establishment of electricity in the case of accidents.

Enedis is continuing with its programme of trimming and removing trees that are located near lines to reduce the risk of storm damage.

Extreme weather plan (PAC - Plan Aléas Climatiques)

The extreme weather plan, validated by public authorities in 2006, includes a €2.3 billion investment over 10 years to reduce the vulnerability of the network to extreme climatic conditions. This involves:

  • reconstruction of some high voltage lines in rural areas,
  • burying of fragile lines or those situated in wooded areas,
  • renewal of urban cables that may be weakened during high summer temperatures,
  • securing of electricity supply to sites that may be used as refuges for populations in cases of extreme weather conditions,
  •  limitation of flood damage.

The final objective for the extreme weather plan is to ensure that 90% of customers are reconnected in fewer than 5 days, in cases similar to the storms of 1999 and 2009.

Maintaining the Rapid Intervention Force for the Electricity Network (FIRE)

The FIRE was implemented following the storms in 1999 to ensure that electricity supply could be re-established quickly to network users in cases of extreme weather conditions. Involving several thousand agents from across France, it was called on several times.