The Biscay Gulf project aims to build the first submarine electricity interconnection between Gatika (near Bilbao, Spain) and Cubnezais (near Bordeaux, France). The project will increase the exchange capacity from 2,800 to 5,000 MW, increasing the safety, stability and quality of electricity supply between the two countries and also with the rest of Europe.
To do so, the existing Gatika-Lemoiz infrastructure comprising two 400 kV electricity power lines will be used. The underground section will run for less than 100 km from the right bank of the River Dordogne, passing beneath this river and the Garonne to reach the Aquitaine coast via the Médoc region, fully respecting the environment and human activity. Numerous factors must be considered in this coastal region, such as: environmental awareness, busy beaches, urban centres, awareness of coastline regression and the possibility of using infrastructures that already exist to sleave rapidly the coastline.
EMODnet is assisting the building of the infrastructure supporting a set of studies, carried out in accordance with the Spanish Environmental Impact Assessment procedure, needed to make the territorial and environmental diagnosis of the effects caused by the project. One example of these studies is represented by the paper published by the consultancy company Biosfera XX Estudios Ambientales where the data made available by EMODnet Bathymetry, Human activities and Seabed Habitats have been used.
About the Biscay Gulf project
The Biscay Gulf project aims to build the first submarine electricity interconnection between Gatika (near Bilbao, Spain) and Cubnezais (near Bordeaux, France).
Prior to the construction of the new connection, surplus wind production generated in Spain could not be exported to the rest of the continent due to the limitations of the four high-voltage power lines connecting France and Spain. With the new infrastructure, electricity is no longer circulating between both countries through "back roads" but rather through a "multiple lane highway", which facilitates the incorporation of clean energy without putting the supply at risk.