World’s Longest Interconnector Takes Off

National Grid and Statnett, the Norwegian Transmission System Operator, yesterday signed the ownership agreement which signals the start of the construction phase for the 730 kilometre interconnector between UK and Norway.

The NSN Link would be the first electricity interconnector between the two countries and has a planned capacity of 1400 MW – enough to power nearly three quarters of a million UK homes.  The ownership agreement will be signed at the British Embassy in Oslo.

Alan Foster, director of European Business Development for National Grid said:

“Access to low-carbon energy from Norway hydro power stations will help us meet the challenge of greener, affordable energy.  It also adds to the diversity of energy sources for UK and potentially can reduce peak prices with benefits for consumers and businesses”

Auke Lont, Statnett CEO said:

“Not only is this a technically impressive project where we will set a new world record, it is also an important contribution to the increase of renewable energy production on both sides, and thereby an essential part of the future electricity system. In addition it will contribute to security of supply and value creation for both Norway and the UK”

The interconnector would run from Blyth in Northumberland to Kvilldal in Rogaland on the Norwegian side. There will be a converter station on each side where the interconnector is connected to the grid. The project is estimated to cost €2 billion to be shared jointly. The interconnector is planned to be completed by 2021.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said:

“This is a project I have worked on with Statnett and National Grid for two years, and I am delighted they’ve now made this massive investment decision.

“Britain will benefit from Norwegian green hydropower, at the flick of a switch, providing green backup power when the wind’s not blowing, and this will actually save people money.
Coming after the recent confirmation of the Nemo interconnector project with Belgium, I am proud we are now seeing a huge increase in Britain’s energy options, and the prospect of a real single energy market and energy supergrid in Europe.”

A further boost to the project has come from the EU projects of common interest Initiative.  Their “Connecting Europe Fund” is expected to grant €31m of support for development and early stage engineering studies.

Image: statnett