REE Will Increase Spain’s Electricity Interconnection Capacity, But Still Far Off European Targets

REE electricity interconnection with FranceUnderwater electricity linking the Iberian Peninsula with the rest of Spain

Red Eléctrica de España (REE) plans to put into service in 2025 the underwater electricity link with France, a 370 kilometre stretch running from the converter station which will be built next to the Gatika substation, to the Gulf of Vizcaya. From there it will run 280 kilometres under the sea to the Cubnezais substation near Bordeaux. This new electricity interconnection will allow the exchange capacity between Spain and France to increase to 5.000 MW compared with the current 2.800 MW.

Investment in this project will be around 1.750 billion euros, a budget which could vary depending on what the final project is. The project is being developed by INELFE, a joint venture created equally by REE, the operator of Spain’s national electricity grid and its French peer, Réseau de Transport d’Electricité.

The new interconnection between Spain and France was declared a European Project of Common Interest in 2013. Spain’s interconnection level with Europe is currently very far removed from the minimum established by the European Union (EU) for 2020: namely 10% of installed capacity. The EU laid down this minimum in 2002 with the aim of eliminating isolated systems, facilitate mutual support and promote the Single Electricity Market.

Despite the fact the new line will increase the commercial exchange capacity to 5.000 MW, Spain will still need to develop new interconnections. Even with the rest of the interconnections planned until 2020, Spain will be the only country in continental Europe below the minimum level established by the EU.

Currently, this project is in a consultation phase and it’s predicted it will come into service in 2024-2025.