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TenneT and Statnett officially open NordLink

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: Tom Russell 28/05/2021 Statnett

TenneT and Statnett have officially opened the first interconnector between Norway and Germany,
NordLink. The high voltage subsea cable link has a capacity of up to 1400 MW, is 623 km long and runs between Agder in Norway and Schleswig-Holstein in Germany.

The project has taken five years to complete. The interconnector has undergone trial operations since late last year and was put into commercial operation in March. The total costs for NordLink are estimated at the cost range of 1.7 - 1.8 billion Euros.

NordLink was developed by Norwegian TSO Statnett and DC Nordseekabel, each with 50% ownership. DC Nordseekabel is equally owned by TenneT and the German promotional bank KfW, and was responsible for the construction of the German part of the project. Statnett was responsible for construction in Norway.

The interconnector will have total length of 623 kilometres, including 516 kilometres of subsea cable in the North Sea waters of Norway, Denmark and Germany. In addition, there are 53 kilometres of overhead line in Norway and a 54-kilometre land cable route on the German side.

Due to the length of the route and the large transmission capacity, direct current is used to reduce transmission losses. Both cables (positive and negative poles) are connected to converter stations at each end. The converter stations are located in Wilster (Germany), and Tonstad (Norway). At these locations, the current will be converted from direct to three-phase electric power (or vice versa, depending on the transmission direction) and fed into the German or Norwegian three-phase electric power transmission grid to supply homes and businesses with green electricity.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids was responsible for the HVDC technology in the converter stations in Norway and Germany. Nexans and NKT produced and supplied the submarine and underground cables for the project.

"Today and with NordLink, Germany and Norway are moving even closer together. The first direct electricity bridge not only helps stabilize energy prices in both countries. NordLink is a milestone for sustainable energy supply and climate protection in Europe. Because the focus is on the exchange of renewable energy,"
said the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"Norway is a small country, but a great energy nation. The NordLink cable is a great example of how we collaborate with other countries to create value from our energy resources. NordLink brings us closer to a more efficient power system and an even more electric future,"
said Tina Bru, Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

"Today we’re celebrating a technical masterpiece and a great and successful project. This interconnector is an important step towards a fully electric and renewable society in both countries. Everyone who helped complete the project on the Norwegian and German sides deserves a round of applause. This is an important day on route to transforming Europe into a climate-neutral society,"
said Statnett CEO Hilde Tonne.

"NordLink is an enormously important building block for the European energy transition in order to compensate for wind- and sunless periods and, at the same time, make green energy available safely and affordably in Europe. NordLink enables a climate-friendly electricity system, creates value in both countries, and is an important building block for achieving the climate targets. As a transmission system operator, TenneT is furthering the energy transition and grid expansion like no other in Europe, in order to transport renewable energies onshore and offshore, and integrate them into a modern energy system,"
commented CEO of TenneT Manon van Beek.

"NordLink is the most significant project in the European energy sector and a prime example of the energy transition in Germany as well as Europe. KfW's involvement shows our clear commitment to climate change mitigation and environmental protection. The exchange of electricity from wind and hydropower made possible by the subsea cable gives us supply security and stable energy prices and also increases the share of renewables in the energy mix. We are proud to be part of it and to have supported NordLink from the planning stage all the way to commissioning,"
said Member of the Management Board at KfW Markus Scheer.

For more information on interconnector projects worldwide, click here


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