European Projects of Common Interest (PCI)

The development of European Community legislation reflects the effort to promote the interconnection of electricity grids. Under the Third Legislative Package on the internal electricity and gas market and its Regulation (EC) 714/2009, every two years ENTSO-E produces Ten-Year Network Development Plans (TYNDP) at European level. On the other hand, in 2013 the Infrastructure Package was approved, whose EU Regulation No 347/2013 established the requirements and procedures for the identification of Projects of Common Interest (PCI). The Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/540 of 23 November 2017 was published on 18 April 2018 amending Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the Union list of projects of common interest (third PCI list)

What is a PCI project?

The classification as PCI is relevant because the measures associated to the Infrastructure Package only apply to those projects identified as PCI. These measures represent the European Community’s contribution to the development of those projects that contribute most to the development of a European grid and a single electricity market and cover various scopes, including notably the obligation of Member States to grant PCIs the top priority status at national level, to expedite the permitting process within a maximum term of three and a half years and to provide possible EC economic and financial support.

The PCI list of the European Union is updated every two years, with ENTSO-E’s TYNDP as its sole basis. The first list, established by Regulation (EU) No 1391/2013, had four projects in which Red Eléctrica de España was involved.

In January 2016, Regulation 89/2016 of the European Commission was published amending Regulation 347/2013. This new regulation approved the second list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI), once ratified by the European Parliament and the Council, pursuant to Article 16 (5) of Regulation 347/2013. In the selection process priority was given to projects that allow member states to achieve the target of 10% interconnection in 2020. In this second PCI list, Red Eléctrica is involved in six projects within the priority corridor of electricity interconnections in the north-south axis in Western Europe ("NSI West Electricity").

The third PCI list is included with the publication of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/540 amending Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

The information concerning transparency of the European Commission includes a map with the routes of these and other electricity and gas PCI’s as well as detailed breakdowns of each individual project.

Projects of common interest - Interactive map View map.

Which projects on the PCI list is Red Eléctrica involved in?

The following provides further details of the projects included in the 2017 PCI list in which Red Eléctrica is involved:

Projects in the Spanish-French border

In the Spanish-French border, the following projects have been classified as PCI:

  • Bay of Biscay Project.

    PCI Project 2.7: Interconnection France - Spain between Aquitaine (France) and the Basque Country (Spain).

    After analysing different reinforcement alternatives along the entire border between Spain and France, joint analysis between RTE and Red Eléctrica concluded that the most appropriate project to reinforce the border was a new interconnection between the Basque Country and the Aquitaine region in France, consisting of a 2x1,000 MW direct current link which will run mostly underwater. This project, called Bay of Biscay, will allow the exchange capacity between Spain and France to be increased up to 5,000 MW. Currently the project is in the public participation stage, and is expected to be commissioned in the 2024-2025 horizon.

    In addition to having the PCI classification, it has a double classification as it also catalogued under the ‘electricity highways’ concept, which means it has a long-term strategic value.

  • Projects across the central Pyrenees.

    PCI Project 2.27: Increase of exchange capacity between Spain and France.

    • 2.27.1 Interconnection between Aragón (Spain) and Atlantic Pyrenees(France)
    • 2.27.2 Interconnection between Navarra (Spain) and Landes (France)

    This project includes new interconnections between Spain and France through the Pyrenees, raised in the ‘Madrid Declaration’ of March 2015, with the aim of increasing the exchange capacity between Spain and France to about 8000 MW.

Contact persons:

RTE: Martine Pausin / Claire Fourment

Project in the Spanish-Portuguese border

In the Spanish-Portuguese border, the following project has been classified as PCI:

  • Northern Interconnection. Spain-Portugal

    PCI Project 2.17: Spain-Portugal interconnection between Beariz -Fontefría (SPA), Fontefría (SPA) Ponte de Lima (POR) (formerly Vila Fría / Viana do Castelo) and Ponte de Lima-Vila de Famaliçao (POR) (formerly Vila do Conde)

    This is a project that uses conventional 400 kV overhead line technology which will connect Galicia with the Minho region in Portugal and will allow the exchange capacity between Spain and Portugal to be increased up to the 3200 MW intergovernmental target. This exchange capacity will allow the full integration of the Iberian Electricity Market, in addition to improving the integration of renewables on the Iberian Peninsula.

All projects categorised as PCIs are included in the current national planning (Electricity Transmission Grid Development Plan 2015-2020 of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, 16 October, 2015) either in Annex I of electricity installations for the period 2015-2020 or in Annex II regarding actions after 2020.