The NordLink cable will be the first direct connection between the Norwegian and German electricity grids, and will run between Schleswig-Holstein in Germany and Agder in Norway. This autumn, 99 km of subsea cable is installed along the Northern German coast, from the dike outside the small town of Büsum to the waters Southeast of Sylt Island. The installation is done in shallow waters using the BoDo Constructor and BoDo Connector cable vessels. Cable supplier NKT manufactures and installs this part of the cable, while Nexans is responsible for cable and installation in Norwegian and Danish waters.
"An important part of this giant project is coming into place, and it's very good to see," said Project Director Stein Håvard Auno in Statnett .
"We have already installed two parallel cable lengths in the 134 kilometer long trawl in Norwegian waters, as well as one in Danish waters, and soon the first length will be in place in Germany. Then the laying continues in German and Danish waters before we can make the last joints between the cable lengths and set the interconnector into operation by 2020."
Connects green energy sources
The cable will contribute to the development of a greener energy system. In northern Germany, where the connection is now connected, large amounts of wind power plants have been built, both on land and at sea. In addition, the Germans build solar power to secure an increasing proportion of renewable energy and to phase out fossil power generation. Through the connection to Norway, Germany will be able to import Norwegian hydropower when there is little wind and sun, while Norway can import German wind power and solar power when there is a surplus on the German side. In addition, a new power connection contributes to security of power supply during periods when it is cold and dry in Norway.
In total, the connection will be 623 kilometers long and will have a capacity of 1400 MW. This corresponds to the capacity of a larger power plant. Work started in 2015, and the interconnector will start operation in 2020. When NordLink is in operation, Norway will have six power cables abroad, as well as power interconnectors over land.
NordLink is owned by Norwegian Statnett, the German system operator TenneT and the German investment bank KfW. The cost of the project is 1.5-2 billion Euros. Commercial income from the cable will over time pay development costs and help reduce grid tariff for Norwegian electricity customers.
Facts and figures
- 623 km long, high-voltage direct current transmission (HVDC)
- A capacity of 1,400 MW at ± 525 kV
- Offshore: 516 km subsea cable
- Onshore: 54 km of underground cable (Büsum – Wilster/Schleswig-Holstein) and a 53-km overhead line (Vollesfjord – Tonstad/NOR)
- Grid connection points: the Wilster (GER) and Tonstad (NOR) substations
Christer Gilje, Communications Manager