The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to loan €500m to French transmission system operator, RTE. Part of the money will be used to fund upgrades allowing offshore wind power to feed into the network.
The EIB and RTE signed an agreement on a first tranche of €300m earlier this week. A second tranche will follow in 2014.
RTE will use some of the money to fund completion of the 400,000-volt Contenin-Maine line, linking the Contentin peninsula, in Basse-Normandie, with the existing grid east of Rennes.
The line will primarily allow the connection of a new nuclear plant under construction at Flamanville, but it is also expected to serve offshore wind plant, including projects off Saint Brieuc and Fécamp. These are scheduled to come online from 2018.
RTE’s preparations for offshore wind include winning the right to route cables through protected coastal zones and commissioning Intertek as an advisor.