The Vice President of European Investment Bank (EIB), Magdalena Alvarez, and the President of Red Electrica de España, Jose Folgado, today signed a 175 million euros loan agreement to finance the Spanish part of the France- Spain electricity interconnection , the first trans-European DC interconnection network equipped with innovative technology conversion.
This loan meets the commitment made last October by the EIB to finance this project with 350 million euros granted to the two managers of the electricity transmission network in Spain and France, Red Electrica de España and Réseau de Transport d “Electricité, respectively.
The new electrical interconnection, which is scheduled for 2014, will link the towns of Santa Llogaia (near Figueras) and Baixas (near Perpignan) through a 64.5 km underground route (31 km in Spain and 33.5 in France ) and passage through the Pyrenees through an 8.5 km tunnel. Its main objective is to double the trade capacity for energy exchange between Spain and the rest of Europe and move from the current 1,400 megawatts to 2,800.
The project will improve supply security of Spanish and French electrical systems, provide greater stability for the European electricity system, strengthen the supply to Gerona and promote the integration of renewable energy. Furthermore it will optimize the Iberian market integration in the European electricity market by improving competitiveness, which will have a positive impact on electricity prices in Europe.
The electrical interconnection, which has a budget of just over 700 million euros, has also received a grant from the European Union under the program EEPR (European Energy Programme for Recovery) amounting to 225 million.
The European Investment Bank is the European Union long-term financing institution whose shareholders are the Member States. The EIB provides long-term financing to viable investment projects to help achieve EU policy objectives.
Red Electrica de España is the Spanish electricity system operator and the transmission system operator, whose role is to ensure continuity and security of electricity supply.