In accordance with the ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans’ Package, and more specifically to the Regulation on the internal market for electricity (EU) 2019/943, of 5 June, 2019 repealing Regulation (EC) 714/2009, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) prepares and drafts, every two years, a ten-year non-binding network development plan (TYNDP) that describes the expected evolution of the European electricity system over the period.
In November 2018, ENTSO-E published its latest ten-year plan that includes an executive report and four regional reports from each of the main corridors defined by the EU. Spain is in the “NSI West Electricity Corridor”.
It also includes a cost/benefit analysis of 166 transportation projects and 15 storage projects that represent a total investment of €114 billion euros through 2030. Meanwhile, the most significant benefits of the projects will be:
In the case of the Spanish electricity system, four interconnection projects have been assessed (three interconnections with France and one with Portugal), as have nine internal projects and four storage projects.
The details of each project can be viewed on the interactive map published by ENTSO-E.
What is known as the “Infrastructure Package” was approved in 2013, and its regulation (EU) 347/2013 defined the requirements and procedures for identifying what are referred to as European projects of common interest (PCIs).
When a project is declared to be a PCI, it is classified as a priority strategic project that can opt for special benefits. This denomination ensures that this project will be given development priority over other projects. Having priority makes it possible to fast-track the formalities for the project, opening the door for it to receive subsidies for studies and, in exceptional cases, for construction work, while also allowing for the possibility of special financing under the “Connecting Europe Facility”.
The European Union’s PCI list is updated every other year, solely based on the TYNDP published by the ENTSO-E. The first list created under Regulation (EU) no 1391/2013 in October 2013 had four projects that affected Red Eléctrica de España in the priority corridor of interconnections along the NSI West Electricity north/south axis.
Regulation (EU) 2016/89 on the second Union list of projects of common interest was published in January 2016. The selection process gave priority to projects that would allow Member States to attain the 10% interconnection target for 2020. Red Eléctrica was involved in six of the projects on this second list.
The publication of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/540 in November 2017 approved the third PCI list, which included four projects in which Red Eléctrica is involved.
The European Commission’s information on transparency contains a map with the layouts of these and other electricity and gas PCIs, and individual detailed sheets on each project.
Projects from the 2017 PCI list with Red Eléctrica involvement are discussed below in greater detail:
The following projects on the Spanish/French border have been declared PCIs:
PIC 2.7: French/Spanish interconnection between Aquitaine (France) and Basque Country (Spain).
After analysing the various alternatives for reinforcing the connection between Spain and France along the entire border, the joint analyses by RTE and Red Eléctrica concluded that the best project to reinforce the border connection would be a new interconnection between the Basque Country and the French region of Aquitaine, consisting of a 2x1000 MW DC connection, with most of it under water. This project is called the “Bay of Biscay Project” and it will make it possible to increase the exchange capacity between Spain and France to 5,000 MW. This project is currently in the public participation phase, and it is projected for commissioning in 2025.
In addition to being a PIC, this project is also classified under the “Electricity Highways” category, which means that it has long-term strategic usefulness.
This project calls for new interconnections between Spain and France over the Pyrenees as proposed in the “Madrid Statement” of March 2015 that aims at increasing the exchange capacity between Spain and France to 8000 MW.
The following project on the Spanish/Portuguese border have been declared a PCI:
PIC 2.17: Spain/Portugal interconnection between Beariz -Fontefría (ES), Fontefría (ES)-Ponte de Lima (PT) (ex-Vila Fría / Viana do Castelo) and Ponte de Lima-Vila de Famaliçao (PT) (ex-Vila do Conde)
This project is a conventional 400-kV overhead project that will connect Galicia to the Portuguese region of Minho and that will increase the exchange capacity between Spain and Portugal to fully comply with the inter-governmental target of 3200 MW in exchange capacity. This capacity will complete the integration of the Iberian electricity market, in addition to improving the integration of renewable energies on the Iberian Peninsula.
All of the projects classified as PCIs are included in the current national plan (the 2015-20 Electric Power Transportation Development Plan), either in Schedule I of facilities for the 2015-20 period, or in Schedule II of post-2020 actions.