Hitachi and Vinci to deliver France-Spain interconnector

A consortium of Hitachi Energy, Vinci Energies and Vinci Construction has secured a contract to construct the first subsea electricity interconnection between France and Spain.

An impression of a converter station on the Bay of Biscay interconnector project An impression of a converter station on the Bay of Biscay interconnector project. Image: Vinci

The scope of the contract includes the construction of four high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations, plus the delivery of subsea cabling, which will run across the Bay of Biscay.

The project calls for two cables to be run a total of 300km across the bay, with another 100km of land-based cable running to a total of four converter stations.

Two ground stations, one located in France and the other in Spain, will then transform the alternating current (AC) from the respective electrical networks into direct current (DC).

Combined, the interconnector will have a total capacity of 2GW of electricity – equivalent to the consumption of two million households.

Greener electricity

The contract was signed with Electricity Interconnection France-Spain (INELFE), a joint venture between Red Eléctrica, the operator of the Spanish electricity transmission network, and RTE, the operator of the French electricity transmission network.

The consortium, with Hitachi Energy as the leader, will be responsible for the design and construction of all cross-border connections between the two countries.

The interconnection will facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources into the electricity grids, as part of the ongoing transition to a greener and more sustainable energy system.

The delivery of the two ground stations is expected to take place in 2028.

Niklas Persson, managing director at Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business, said, “Cross border, and often subsea, interconnections are vital to Europe’s increasingly interconnected grid.

“Through our pioneering HVDC technology, we enable Inelfe to accelerate the two countries’ sustainability goals, improving the safety, stability, and quality of electricity supply between France and Spain and the rest of Europe.”

While the financial details of the entire contract have not been released, the cost of Vinci’s work on the project totals approximately €300 million.


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