European Union to invest 578 million euros in a new electricity interconnection between Spain and France

News - 2018.1.25

This connection will provide greater integration for the Iberian Peninsula in the internal electricity market and will be essential for the development of renewable energy sources and to comply with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The new electricity infrastructure represents an important milestone in doing away with the isolation of the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of the European energy market. The full interconnection of the market is essential for increasing the security of supply in Europe, reducing the dependence of sole providers and offering consumers a greater choice.

The Government of Spain has always advocated energy interconnections to ensure it can comply on an equal footing with other Member States with the EU's energy and climate targets.

At this time there is an electricity interconnection between France and Spain of 2.8%, including the latest installation inaugurated between Santa Llogaia (Gerona) and Baixas (Perpignan). With the completion of the project through the Bay of Biscay, the level of interconnection will rise to 5%, and with the other two projects through the Pyrenees, one through Aragon and the other through Navarre, this will reach 8%.

This interconnection will be 370 kilometres long between the Basque Country and Aquitaine (110 kilometres in Spain and 260 kilometres in France), of which 90 kilometres are land-based and the other 280 kilometres underwater. The cable is due to be operational in the year 2025.

The cost of the project amounts to 1.75 billion euros. The national regulators had agreed for the two countries to share the costs equally. As a result of this funding from the European Union, Spain will only finance approximately 37% of the project.

The EU highlights that the 578-million euros subsidy of the interconnection between Spain and France is the highest granted to date by the Connecting Europe Facility. For that reason, the government very highly values the backing from the European funding obtained, which underlines the technical and economic soundness of the project. The support from the European Union shows the importance of the internal electricity market and its infrastructures in building the European project, thus backing the position that Spain has historically maintained.

Non official translation