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Gallery: France-Spain 2GW HVDC link

FRANCE/SPAIN: Siemens has commissioned the high voltage direct current (HVDC) link between France and Spain to transport wind energy between the two countries.

  • A HVDC link between France and Spain has been commissioned

    A HVDC link between France and Spain has been commissioned

  • Converter station at Baixas, southern France

    Converter station at Baixas, southern France

  • The station is located west of the city of Perpignan on the Mediterranean Sea

    The station is located west of the city of Perpignan on the Mediterranean Sea

  • Inside the converter hall - the €700 million link doubles the exchange capacity between France and Spain

    Inside the converter hall - the €700 million link doubles the exchange capacity between France and Spain

  • The system can transmit 2GW of electricity in both directions

    The system can transmit 2GW of electricity in both directions

  • Siemens said power reversal is possible in 150 milliseconds (0.15 seconds).

    Siemens said power reversal is possible in 150 milliseconds (0.15 seconds).

  • The link travels through an 8 kilometre tunnel through the Pyrenees Mountains

    The link travels through an 8 kilometre tunnel through the Pyrenees Mountains

  • The distance between the two converter stations is approximately 65 kilometres

    The distance between the two converter stations is approximately 65 kilometres

  • Converter station at Santa Llogaia, Spain (Copyright: Tafyr)

    Converter station at Santa Llogaia, Spain (Copyright: Tafyr)

  • The cable travels from southern France into northern Spain

    The cable travels from southern France into northern Spain

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The 65 kilometre link travels from Baixas, near Perpignan in southern France to Santa Llogaia in northern Spain. An eight kilometre tunnel carries the cables under the Pyrenees Mountains. 

The system can carry 2GW of electricity in both directions with power reversal possible in 0.15 seconds.

Siemens was contracted by the Interconnexion Electrique France Espangne consortium to build the link's converter stations. 

Interconnectors feature in the new European Commission's Energy Union plan. EC vice president for Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic, set a minimum interconnection target of 10% of installed electicity production capacity per member state by 2020. This should increase to 15% by 2030. 

In October, Spanish wind association AEE claimed 533GWh, or 5% of total wind generation, worth over €42m, were curtailed first quarter 2013 alone, largely due to poor interconnection with France. This link more than doubled the amount of interconnection between the two countries. 

(Pictures: Siemens)

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