On last Monday, Monaco’s new high voltage power station was inaugurated. 63,000 volts will travel from France to power half of the Principality’s residents and industries. Because Monaco is densely populated and space is a precious thing, 15 kilometers of electric cables were laid underground, some through old railway tunnels. The cables connect Monaco to Nice.
Infrastructure like the seafront extension project and this new power station, the third of its kind in the Principality, have been created to suit Monaco’s expanding needs. The station is projected to meet Monaco’s power needs for the next 30 years.
Every year, the Principality purchases 20 million euros worth of electricity from France. Monaco’s first two substations, located in Fontvieille and Sainte-Dévote, were operating at 80% of their capacity. It therefore became necessary to create this third substation.
In 2004, work on the new power station began; in 2008, excavation studies were launched and construction officially started in 2012. More than 330 blasts were needed to hollow out the rock to create the 2,100 m² substation, which makes use of 700 m² of an unused SCNF tunnel, which was no longer required after the construction of Monaco’s underground station. The works also involved building a 300 m² two-arched bridge and extending the existing viaduct to give access to the substation. Now complete, the station will increase Monaco’s electricity supply capacity by 50% and serve the eastern area of the Principality.
Prince Albert II inaugurated the station and Marie-Pierre Gramaglia, Government Councillor and Minister of Equipment, Environment and Urbanism was also in attendance. The third power station is finally ready to light up homes and businesses for half of the Principality.