Today in Santiago, the Rector of the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), Juan J. Casares, and the General Manager of the Gas Natural Fenosa Foundation, Pedro Fábregas, signed a cooperation agreement for the execution of the study, " Una historia de la Sociedad General Gallega de Electricidad” ( A History of the General Electric Company of Galicia)
The object of the work, which the Gas Natural Fenosa Foundation has commissioned from a team from the Department of History and Economic Institutions of the USC, led by Professor Xoán Carmona Badía, is to conduct a research study on the history of the General Electric Company of Galicia and of the electricity sector in Galicia since the late nineteenth century until the demise of that company in 1955.
The project also includes the biographies of the main protagonists of the process and a study of the major achievements of the company and its contribution to the economic development of Galicia.
The Sociedad General Gallega de Electricidad
The Sociedad General Gallega de Electricidad was one of the first utilities in Galicia, founded in 1900 for the exploitation of the hydraulic jumps of A Fervenza (Ferrol) and of Segade (Caldas de Reis). After several mergers and takeovers in the twenties, it became the leading group, consisting of the Sociedad General Gallega de Electricidad and the Fábricas Coruñesas de Gas y Electricidad, which, with a significant shareholding belonging to the Banco Pastor, marketed more than 70% of the electricity distributed in Galicia.
The Sociedad General Gallega de Electricidad launched the Tambre jump (A Coruña), the flagship and largest installed power station and also began the task of building a regional electricity system based on grid extension and the absorption of many local companies. In 1946, the Sociedad General Gallega de Electricidad absorbed Fábricas Coruñesas de Gas y Electricidad.
In 1943, a new dynamism appeared in the electricty sector of Galicia with the formation of a new company, Fuerzas Eléctricas del Noroeste S.A. (Fenosa), which henceforth would be the leading protagonist in the sector, absorbing the Sociedad General Gallega de in 1955.
La Sociedad General Gallega de Electricidad, which contributed significantly to the modernisation of Galicia, was the biggest Galician company in the sector until the start up by Fenosa of the As Conchas reservoir (Ourense) in 1955.
The Gas Natural Fenosa Foundation
With this initiative, the Gas Natural Fenosa Foundation begins its work in the conservation, research and dissemination of the historical and cultural heritage of the electricity industry, giving priority to Galicia. This is an additional research effort to the works and publications in recent years on the gas industry, culminated last January with the inauguration of the Gas Museum, where you can glimpse the past of gas and electricity as well as the future pathways in the complex world of energy and the environment.
Moreover, the University of Santiago de Compostela is a prestigious institution that has proven experience in research on economic and business history, and more specifically on developments in the electricity sector.