T&D World Magazine

'Transgreen,' the Supergrid, to Carry Energy from Renewable Sources from Northern Africa to Europe

Prysmian has signed an industrial partnership agreement with 11 European groups in the transmission and distribution industry. The initiative is aimed at studying the feasibility and the realization of the trans-Mediterranean super-grid “Transgreen” that will carry renewable energy from Northern Africa to Europe.

The project involves Abengoa, Alstom, Areva, Atos, Origin, CDC Infrastructure, EDF, Nexans, RED Eléctrica de España, RTE, Siemens e Veolia. The 12 partners will be under the central coordination of a corporate body aimed at studying the technical, industrial, economic, financial, regulatory and institutional aspects of a transmission system for power coming mainly from renewable sources in the Mediterranean.

Established for an initial period of three years, Transgreen is part of the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) and is open to other companies, coming mainly from Southern countries, in order to promote the cooperation in the design and engineering of the electrical systems that will help speed up the transition toward the use of power generated by low carbon sources. Transgreen will work in close contact with the authorities of the involved countries, the European Commission, the scientific community, the development banks and the non-governmental organizations. The activities will be carried out in close coordination with the other MSP projects including “Desertec,” which is aimed at providing up to 15% of Europe’s electricity consumption by drawing on sun and wind power generation sources installed in Northern Africa and the Middle East by 2050. The MSP envisages the realization of renewable power generation infrastructures - mainly solar - in the southern and eastern areas of the Mediterranean, for a total of 20 GW by 2020; of these, approximately 5 GW will be exported into Europe, thus creating the need for trans-Mediterranean electrical system for the transmission of power to the consumption centers and of new interconnection infrastructures, based mostly on high and extra high-voltage submarine cable systems operated in direct current.

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