INTERCHANGE CAPACITY INCREASE
TUNNEL THROUGH THE PYRENEES
2 x 1000 MW
The underground electricity interconnection between Baixas (France) and Santa Llogaia (Spain) is a globally pioneering project.
This project allowed the interchange capacity to be doubled from 1,400 to 2,800 megawatts (MW), while also increasing the security, stability and quality of electricity supply in the two countries as well as in the rest of Europe.
“The Electrical Crossing of the Pyrenees” is the title of a research project carried out by Renan Viguié concerning electrical interconnections between France and Spain from the period between the wars to the present day. It is the first time that the crossing of a border by an electrical current has been the subject of a historical study, which is both summarised and detailed.Learn more
• 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.Learn more