INELFE organises a meeting in Brussels with suppliers to discuss the electricity interconnection across the Bay of Biscay

INELFE, a company equally and jointly-owned by the companies that manage the electricity transmission grids of Spain and France, Red Eléctrica de España and Réseau de Transport d'Électricité, respectively, has organised a meeting in Brussels with HVDC cable and converter station suppliers and companies that provide horizontal directional drilling.

Held between April 16 and 19, its objective has been to explain the scope of the interconnection project between Spain and France across the Bay of Biscay and to exchange information on the best way to execute it (technology, materials, execution procedures, etc.).

During the opening event, Eva Pagán, the President of INELFE and General Manager of the Transmission Division at Red Eléctrica, explained the importance of this project and the reasons for its launch. For their part, those responsible for the project’s execution explained both the specific data and the studies that have been carried out or are underway. During the days that followed, representatives from approximately a dozen companies met with INELFE staff, consisting of experts and technicians belonging to Red Eléctrica’s workforce and that of Réseau de Transport d'Électricité, to exchange information on technological and logistical aspects, as well as on the challenges the construction of this infrastructure represents.

The suppliers showed their interest in this infrastructure and were thankful that an event of these characteristics had been held, not only for holding it at an early stage of the project but also for the openness of the company to receive their opinions and considerations. The project is currently in the process of preparing the technical specifications after the public participation and consultation process carried out in recent months.

The project

The electricity link between Spain and France across the Bay of Biscay will be 370 kilometres in length and will consist of four cables, two per link, in direct current with a power transmission capacity of 2 x 1,000 MW. The length of the underwater section will be approximately 280 kilometres, while the land section will be 10 kilometres long in Spain and 80 kilometres long in France.

This will be the first submarine interconnection between the two countries that will enable the current exchange capacity to be increased from 2,800 megawatts (MW) to 5,000 MW, thus increasing the security, stability and quality of the electricity supply between the two countries and also with the rest of Europe. With an approximate budget of 1,750 million euros and an expected completion date in 2025, it was declared a Project of Common Interest by the European Commission and the European Parliament in October 2013.

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