Spain and Morocco to develop third electric link

The governments of Spain and Morocco signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday to develop the third electric interconnection between both countries. The link is set to be commissioned in 2026.

Project Remo, as this interconnection between Spain and Morocco is called, began in 1997. At first, it contemplated the installation of the first electric line and was completed in June 2006, when the second transmission line entered into service. The new line will have an analog connection to the ones, with 400 kilovolts of alternate current and a technical capacity of 700 MW each.

In a public statement, the Spanish government said that the analysis, development, and construction of this electric interconnection will be handled by two energy operators: Spain’s Red Eléctrica Española (REE) and Moroccan L'Office National de l'Électricité et de l'Eau Potable (ONEE).

Electric interconnection with a focus on renewables

The Spanish government revealed that the new electric interconnection is meant to favor energy trade. The agreement will be very focused on renewable power and energy efficiency, in addition to network integration and regional energy markets.

Industry sources reveal that this interconnection between Europe and Africa will also enable to integrate renewables to the grid, mainly photovoltaic, derived from Morocco’s ambitious solar power development plan. This should, as a result, reduce the marginal cost of electricity in the Spanish market.

At the same time, the agreement seeks to eliminate the barriers to free electricity trade between both nations. Furthermore, the deal proposes to move forward in Morocco’s convergence with the European market's electrical interconnection regulations.

The plan dates back to 2015

The first talks for an agreement occurred in the 2015 11th Spain-Morocco High Level Meeting. At the time, the Moroccan initiative proposed increasing the capacity of the existing interconnections with Spain by 700 MW.

Spain and Morocco contemplated building a new 600-MW electric interconnection that would also include neighbor Portugal. This would increase the commercial interconnection capacity between Spain and Portugal. This option, however, could not be worked out during the negotiations.

In a separate statement, REE announced that the new interconnection will be similar to the two existing ones.

This third electric link will initially entail an investment of €150 million, of which Spain would contribute €75 million. The resources for this interconnection will come from tolls and congestion pricing, according to the operator. This instalment could generate an additional income of €140 million for the Spanish system.

For more information, check Energía16

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