Inelfe, a joint venture company owned in equal parts by the Spanish transmission system operator Red Eléctrica and its French counterpart RTE, announces it has awarded the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts for the Biscay Gulf electricity interconnection project.
As part of the studies prior to the construction of the new interconnection between France and Spain via the Biscay Gulf, RTE and REE carried out geological studies of the seabed. They revealed ground instability along the edge of the Capbreton Canyon. Additional analyses conducted since June have not identified a route under the canyon that is guaranteed to be stable for the life of the power line.
RTE and REE are therefore forced to abandon this solution and define a new route around the canyon.
As part of the studies prior to the construction of the new interconnection between France and Spain via the Biscay Gulf, RTE and REE carried out extensive geological studies of the seabed. The latest studies, at the beginning of May, revealed soil instability very close to the Capbreton canyon, in French waters.
Inelfe organised a meeting with HVDC cable, converter station, submarine cable and drilling suppliers in Brussels. Held between 16 and 20 April, its goal was to explain the scope of the interconnection project between Spain and France via the Bay of Biscay and to exchange information on the best way to implement the project (technology, materials, implementation procedures, etc.).
• The new electricity infrastructure, 64.5 km in length, has represented an investment of 700 million euros and will double the interconnection capacity between the two countries.
• Started in 2008, the project has been, for both Red Eléctrica de España (REE) and Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTE), a technological challenge on the road towards the single European energy market
The cables through which the electricity will travel between France and Spain are already “winding” along the interconnection tunnel that links both countries. The installation was completed at the end of October and entailed a very meticulous and precise process. To unwind the cables and place them in the supports inside the tunnel, the technique of “snaking” was employed. This is a sinusoidal motion, similar to a snake, which gives the cable a sufficient curvature to easily absorb the expansion caused by the current flow.
Since 7 October, electricity has been flowing through the 400 kV power line between Bescanó and Santa Llogaia. This marks a step further towards the new electricity interconnection between France and Spain. Santa Llogaia is the location of the converter station for the interconnection implemented by INELFE, a joint venture between Red Eléctrica de España (REE) and Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTE). This interconnection will make it possible to double the power exchange capacity between the two countries.
After two years of work, the excavation of the trenches for the new electrical interconnection between France (Baixas) and Santa Llogaia (Spain), as well as the construction of the converter stations, was completed this summer.