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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article30 April 2024European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency2 min read

CEF Energy: supporting the submarine electricity interconnection between Spain and France

Biscay Bay - PCI

Cross-border, collaborative energy initiatives in Europe have proved their added value to the internal energy market and the European Union has been actively investing in this type of energy infrastructure projects under the Connecting Europe Facility for Energy (CEF Energy) since 2014.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the CEF Energy programme, we want to put the spotlight on projects supported by this funding instrument that stand out as a crucial links in strengthening the energy landscape of different regions, such as the Biscay Gulf Interconnection, the submarine electricity interconnection between Spain and France.

The Biscay Gulf

The Biscay Gulf interconnection is a new electricity link project, promoted by Red Eléctrica de España (REE) and Réseau de transport d’Electricité (RTE), aiming to enhance energy connectivity and facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources across the Bay of the Biscay region. It was created to increase the electricity interconnection capacity (from 2,8 GW to 5,0 GW) between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe, with the objective of reducing the energy isolation of Spain and Portugal.

The interconnection consists of almost 400 km of submarine and underground dual connection and will have four HVDC cables. It will connect the Cubnezais substations (near Bordeaux, France) and the Gatika substations (near Bilbao, Spain).

CEF Energy funding for crucial components

The Biscay Gulf interconnection is a Project of Common Interest (PCI); a status that allowed the project to be co-funded by CEF Energy with a grant over EUR €578 million since 2018. 

The contracts for the cables and the converter stations have been signed in 2023 and the preparatory works have begun in both France and Spain. At present the project is on track to be commissioned by 2028.

The project impact and benefits

This project will benefit France, Spain and more widely the EU. It will improve the security of electricity supply in both countries and facilitate further integration of renewables into the grid, encouraging investment in renewable energy sources. More investments foster competition and ultimately provide consumers with a more stable supply of cleaner and cheaper energy.


An inter-connected European energy network is vital for energy security and competitiveness in the EU, as well as for achieving the decarbonisation and climate change targets to which the EU is committed under the European Green Deal. The Biscay Gulf project will contribute to achieve those targets as well as the EU goals of guaranteeing affordable, safe and sustainable energy compatible with growth and employment throughout the European Union thanks to the decarbonisation of the energy sector by 2050.

More information about the project