France’s energy regulator (CRE) and Spain’s competition commission (CNMC) announced today that they have given the go-ahead for the ambitious subsea electricity interconnection project, ending a deadlock that had emerged after the estimated cost increased by 1.1 billion euros. The two sides agreed to share the increased costs for the project, which was first presented in 2017.

The cost of the 400km undersea cable from the north coast of Spain to the west coast of France via the Bay of Biscay is now estimated at around 2.85 billion euros – up from an initial estimate of 1.75 billion euros, according to with CNMC.

Excluding EU funding (amounting to €578m), Spain will cover 54% of the cost and France 46%, under the new deal. The burden on Spain will be slightly lower compared to what was agreed in 2017, the Spanish competition commission points out.

The project will boost electricity interconnection capacity between the two countries from 2.8 GW to 5 GW and is expected to be ready in 2028, France’s CRE says.