Brazil's EDP Escelsa, EDP Group's power distributor located in Espírito Santo State, has installed 3M ACCR to upgrade a distribution line that crosses the often rain-swollen Rio Doce as a solution to potential construction, environmental and clearance challenges.

EDP Escelsa chose 3M ACCR to resolve environmental issues while maintaining the existing infrastructure. The high-capacity conductor enabled the utility to double the line's ampacity and improve line clearance without having to construct larger towers or expand the right-of-way in wetlands on the river banks.

EDP Escelsa serves a population of 3.4 million in Espírito Santo State. The upgraded line is located in Linhares, a city of about 130,000 residents close to the Atlantic coast, some 80 miles (129 km) north of Vitória, the state capital. The line crosses the Rio Doce at Linhares, and during the rainy season, line sag combined with high water levels can pose challenges.

3M ACCR was installed on a 138-kV double-circuit distribution line to replace conventional steel core ACSR on a 3,012-ft (918-m) span that crosses the river.

“The use of this conductor allowed us to match the environmental and loading requirements while meeting the region's capacity needs without structural changes in the line,” says Fernando Peixoto Saliba, technical and environmental director of EDP Escelsa. “And we were able to complete the project before the rainy season raised the water level.”

By providing as much as twice the electric capacity of conventional conductors of similar size without requiring new or larger transmission towers, 3M ACCR is helping utilities accommodate new demands being placed on the grid without encountering costly and problematic construction, right-of-way expansion or permitting issues. Power companies in China, Russia, India, Canada, France, Germany, South America and the United States have embraced the 3M ACCR for similar applications.