Impacts of flooding on Barcelona’s electrical distribution network

11:15 Thursday 30 May


Room S10


Anna Palau Mayo (Spain) 1; Mikel De Prada (Spain) 1; José Luis Domínguez-García (Spain) 1; Miguel Pardo (Spain) 2; Miguel Duarte (Spain) 2; Daniel Sánchez Muñoz (Spain) 1

1 - IREC; 2 - ENDESA

The energy sector is considered one of the key critical infrastructures for Europe. In this regard, the power system of a city is a critical service for most stakeholders in a city due to their high dependency on electricity. According to United Nations (2018), urban population is expected to increase from 55% in 2018 to 68% by 2050. Likewise, IEA has forecasted that worldwide electricity demand will grow by 40% between 2016 and 2040, thus evidencing the importance of the energy service.Moreover, extreme weather events are increasingly occurring and therefore, a reinforced interest on climate change has lead to the concept of resilience, which is the ability of a system to adapt and recover from a hazard impact in a coordinated manner.

Based on the electrical grid of Barcelona city, the present study consists on an impact assessment of substations and distribution centers with regards to various flooding scenarios at different return periods. The flooding scenarios account for: river flooding at T10, T100 and T500, sea flooding at T100 and T500, historical heavy rainfalls, and hydraulic capacity of the drainage system at T10, T100 and T500. Flooding is the only climate hazard analyzed in Barcelona as it is the most threatening climate event for electrical assets in the city.

The present study is part of the RESCCUE project, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of Research and Innovation in EU. This project aims to help worldwide urban areas to increase resilience to climate change.

With regards to the power system in Barcelona, the study has been developed from a utility perspective. Therefore, the impacts of flooding are analyzed considering vulnerable high and medium voltage electrical assets, which are observed in Figure 1. Additionally, it is worth noting that this study has focused on riversides and seaside zones of the city which have been detected by the Barcelona city distribution network operator (ENDESA) as the most critical parts which high affection potential.