The new Trans Pyrenean very high voltage line (VHV), which Egis played a role in developing, was officially opened on February 20th by heads of the French and Spanish government at Montesquieu-des-Albères (Pyrénées-Orientales).
After 3 years of work, under the supervision of Egis teams, the new electric interconnector between France and Spain is now operational. Linking Baixas (Pyrénées-Orientales- France) to Santa Llogaia (Catalogne-Spain) over a distance of 65 km, this VHV connection with insulated cables is the first to convert a 400 kV alternating current (ac) to a direct 320 kV current (dc).
For this bi-national project led by Inelfe (Electric Inter Connection France Spain), Egis initially advised the project owner (Inelfe) on design of the high security 8 km technical gallery and supervised its construction. Egis then carried out studies on facility specific regulations, led construction of civil engineering infrastructure, including 2 tunnel boring machines (TBM) with 5 metre diameters, monitored roll out of HVDC 2 x 1000 MW cables and preparation of high technology cable connections. Finally Egis inspected electrical installations, took part in commissioning and was responsible for the technical conformity of the HVAC installations and refrigeration of converter stations in France and Spain.
This underground connection is the first in the world to be developed using conversion technology. With the ability to now exchange currents at 2 800 MW between the two countries, it will be put into operation in June 2015.
© RTE – Antoine Martineau