Spain and France have signed a grant agreement to help fund a new power interconnector across the Bay of Biscay.

The €578 million facility represents the largest investment from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) ever made for an energy project, and will be awarded to Spain’s and France’s transmission system operators.

The 280 km link will double the exchange capacity between France and Spain and bring Spain closer to the 15 per cent interconnection target contained in the new regulation on the governance of the Energy Union.

The agreement was signed during a meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, between leaders from France, Spain and Portugal on the integration of the Iberian peninsula with the EU. “By agreeing on steps forward to complete the energy interconnections between France, Portugal and Spain and ways to enhance our regional cooperation, we are strengthening the security of energy supply across Europe, and delivering on our promise to make Europe number one on clean energy and renewables,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

The CEF grant will cover around 30 % of the project’s costs. The Iberian peninsula has links totalling 6000 MW with France, equivalent to an interconnection capacity of 6%.