CPFL Piratininga, a power distribution unit of CPFL Energia, one of Brazil's largest electric utilities, will install the 3M aluminum conductor composite reinforced (ACCR) to upgrade the capacity of a key transmission line serving a densely populated area in the state of São Paulo. The lightweight, sag-resistant 3M conductor provides more than twice the capacity of conventional steel conductors of similar size without requiring major tower modifications or construction of new towers.
CPFL Energia serves 6.3 million customers in four states, with a generating capacity of 1672 MW. With an expansion program underway to accommodate Brazil's dynamic economic growth, the company expects to have 2174 MW of capacity available in 2010.
The line to be upgraded with the 3M ACCR passes through a residential neighborhood in Várzea Paulista, where houses lining both sides of the right-of-way present numerous costly logistical problems for building new towers.
Early in 2008, CTEEP, another major electric utility in Brazil, chose the 3M ACCR for a capacity upgrade under very different circumstances. The utility is applying the breakthrough conductor to avoid new tower construction in a rural area, on a line that crosses an environmentally sensitive section of the Paraná River.
The CPFL Energia installation, boosting power to Varzea Paulista and Jundiaí, which are both north of the city of São Paulo, is expected to be completed in March 2009. The 3.3-km (2-mile) upgrade increases capacity on an 88-kV double-circuit line.