Endesa is finalizing the works to protect part of 21 lines in the Girona regions to prevent birds from being electrocuted.
The electric company is covering different sections of the wiring and the glass insulators on the towers and masts are being replaced with others made with fiberglass and silicone.
"These insulators, longer than those available until now, reduce the risk that a bird may be electrocuted when it takes flight," says Endesa's technical manager in Girona, Francisco Javier Céspedes.
In total, 72 metal towers or concrete poles are adapted from these stretches, which cross 22 towns in Gironès, Empordà, Selva and Garrotxa.
The work, which is carried out by specialized operators, does not involve disconnecting the line.
Two workers with the help of a crane climb to the top of a concrete electrical tower located in the middle of the rice fields. This line, built in the middle of the last century, entirely supplied the old Radio Liberty (in fact, it is known by the technical name of Amcomlib). Over the years, the line has been used to bring electricity to the municipalities in the area.
Once they have the cables nearby, the operators replace one of the tower's insulators with another more modern and resistant one. The objective: to prevent the birds from being electrocuted when they take flight after resting on the tower. They will repeat the action with the other two insulators that the concrete tower has, and with two other masts on the line - these made of wood - that are very close.
These works to protect birdlife are part of the agreement that Endesa signed with the Generalitat in August 2020 with the aim of reducing the risks of electrocution and collision of birds with electrical networks. That agreement, in fact, was the first of its kind that was made in Catalonia with an electricity company.
From there, Céspedes explains, the company has carried out different actions to protect the electrical towers. In this case, based on a report sent to them by the Generalitat. "Based on technical criteria, it is established which points need to be acted upon because they are transit points during migrations or there has been an incident," specifies the company's technical manager. The objective is to adapt the towers to those lines that may have the most impact on birdlife.
The new insulators also have other advantages. According to Endesa, they are lighter and better resist inclement weather (such as hailstorms or lightning strikes). In addition, they also give greater protection to the line in cases of vandalism or accidental shots by hunters.
In total, the 72 metal towers and concrete poles are part of 21 lines that cross 22 Girona municipalities, and that serve almost 40,000 customers.
Most of the towns, about ten, are located in Alt Empordà (Cabanes, El Far d'Empordà, Figueres, Llers, Ordis, Pedret i Marzà, Pont de Molins, Siurana and Sant Pere Pescador). And the rest are divided between Baix Empordà (Bisbal d'Empordà, Platja d'Aro, Gualta, Pals and Torroella de Montgrí), Gironès (Girona, Celrà, Llagostera and Sant Julià de Ramis), Garrotxa (les Preses and the Vall d'en Bas) and the Selva (Amer and Sils).