German power manufacturer Siemens has started commissioning converter stations for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission link between France and Spain.
Scheduled to be fully commissioned by the middle of this year, the link will increase the energy-exchange capacity between the two European nations by 100%, thereby increasing its reliability. Presently, 1,400MW of power is being transmitted between France and Spain.
The new link will also enable integration of renewable energy sources without endangering the stability of the grid, Siemens said.
Siemens Energy Management Division Transmission Solutions CEO Tim Dawidowsky said: "As a link between France and Spain, this HVDC transmission project can serve as an excellent model. It is a forward-looking approach that shows how bottlenecks in the transmission grids throughout Europe can gradually be eliminated.
"With our HVDC system, currently worldwide the most powerful of its kind, we have made a significant contribution to these efforts."
The German firm had also manufactured the converter stations for the link, which connects Baixas, west of Perpignan, France, and Santa Llogaia, south-west of Figueras, Spain. The system has a transmission capacity of 2,000MW in both directions with the power stations at two ends located nearly 65km away.
Siemens had won the HVDC link construction contract from Inelfe (Interconnexion Electrique France Espagne), a project joint venture between the grid operators Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE), Paris, and Red Eléctrica de Espana (REE), Madrid.
The project will involve an investment of nearly $700m, Siemens said.