NordLink Interconnector Starts Trial Run

TenneT, Statnett, and KfW have put the 1,400 MW NordLink interconnector between Norway and Germany into trial operation.

The 623-kilometres-long high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission link will be used for the exchange of Norwegian hydropower and German wind energy.

“NordLink is a beacon project of the energy transition and an important step in the integration of renewable energies into the electricity market,” said TenneT COO Tim Meyerjürgens.

“Today, we have directly connected the electricity markets of Norway and Germany for the first time. The Green Cable is calculated to be able to supply around 3.6 million households with climate-neutral energy. Norwegian hydropower and German wind energy complement each other in this system in an optimal way.”

The trial operation marks the entry of the interconnector into the European electricity market.

The electricity transmission capacity that will be put on the market is the result of the latest capacity calculation of the two transmission system operators, TenneT and Statnett.

The available capacity of the interconnector will then be used in the context of the European market coupling of the day ahead and intraday electricity trading markets.

The price difference between Norway and Germany will determine the direction of the electricity flow. It can be expected that in most cases the country exporting will be the one which brings the lower price into the market.

“We are proud that our new interconnector is ready for energy exchange between our two countries. NordLink will help us achieve our climate goals and create value on both the Norwegian and German side of the cable,” said Executive Vice President Gunnar G. Løvås at Statnett.

Once the trial operation phase is completed, the Nord Link Green Cable is expected to be fully tested and completed in spring 2021, TenneT said.

NordLink creates a link between the capacity of hydroelectric power plants in Norway and wind farms in Germany. The water reservoirs in Norway act as a kind of “energy storage”, because when electricity is imported from Germany – and especially when there is a surplus of wind energy in Germany – the water can remain in them.

Conversely, during consumption peaks and simultaneously when wind and solar energy production in Germany is low, the Norwegian “hydroelectric reservoirs” can be used to transport electricity to Germany.

The NordLink project is being realised by a consortium in which the Norwegian transmission system operator Statnett and DC Nordseekabel GmbH & Co.KG each have a 50 per cent stake. TenneT and KfW each hold 50 per cent of the shares in DC Nordseekabel.