Companhia de Transmissão de Energia Elétrica Paulista (CTEEP), has completed the installation of 3M’s Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced (ACCR) across the Paraná River as part of a key line upgrade designed to bring more power to rapidly growing southeastern portions of Brazil.

The lightweight, sag-resistant breakthrough 3M ACCR provides more than twice the capacity of conventional conductors of similar size without requiring construction of new or enlarged towers. Installed in only six days, CTEEP’s 1.1-mile, 138-kV ACCR line, crossing the nearly mile-wide Paraná River, is boosting power transmission for the Jupiá Electrical System. Ampacity on the line was increased by 121 percent, with a 36 percent reduction in weight, using only the existing structures.

CTEEP, which is principally owned by Grupo Empresarial ISA (ISA Group), one of South America’s largest electricity and telecommunications providers, supplies most of the electricity consumed in São Paulo State and about 30 percent of the electrical power used nationwide.

“The installation process went smoothly, and the line was energized on Feb. 15,” said CTEEP Engineering Manager Caetano Cezario Neto. “Had we upgraded with a heavier conductor, we would have had to not only build larger towers but also change the concrete foundations that rise out of the river to support the new towers, probably requiring the use of dynamite in an environmentally sensitive area. Instead of six days, it would have taken much longer and been more costly.”

Tim Koenig, director of the 3M High Capacity Conductor Program, noted that the 3M ACCR is scheduled for installation this spring by a second Brazilian utility, CPFL Piratininga, a power distribution unit of CPFL Energia, in a densely populated area where tower enlargement would have been difficult because of nearby homes. He adds that line upgrades with 3M’s ACCR have been made by utilities in Canada, China and India, as well as by many in the United States. “The number is growing steadily, as utilities become aware that this special conductor is a proven, cost-effective solution to the problem of bottlenecks, especially where permitting and construction of new towers or obtaining additional rights of way would create major problems and delays.”