In a statement at the end of last week, Britain’s National Grid dubbed the 1.6 billion euro ($1.86 billion) North Sea Link “the world’s longest subsea electricity interconnector.” The North Sea Link is a joint venture with Norway’s Statnett, the owner and operator of the country’s power transmission network.
This story by Michiel Willems for CityAM was published by us on our website after it first appeared on 1 October 2021. However, the story has now been expanded by CNBC to provide more details of those involved in the manufacture of the cable and more information about the National Grid. Please read on.
The idea behind the NSL is for it to harness Norway’s hydropower and the U.K’s wind energy resources. According to National Grid, when Britain’s wind production is high and demand for electricity is low, the system will facilitate exports to Norway. This will in turn help to conserve water in the latter’s reservoirs.
“When demand is high in Britain and there is low wind generation, hydro power can be imported from Norway,” it added.
While Norway has a long history of oil and gas production, authorities there say 98% of its electricity production stems from renewables, with hydropower accounting for the vast majority.
National Grid has previously described interconnectors as “high voltage cables that are used to connect the electricity systems of neighbouring countries,” facilitating the trade of surplus power.
The project links the English town of Blyth to Kvilldal in Norway and will have an initial maximum capacity of 700 megawatts. This will increase to a “full capacity” of 1,400 MW across a three-month timeframe.
In its own announcement, Statnett referred to the three months as a “trial period.” In comments published by National Grid, Statnett’s CEO Hilde Tonne said: “As North Sea Link goes into trial operations, I am proud of the engineering feat produced by our joint team.”
Here is a link to a pdf file of an article by Nick Flaherty for EE News Europe published in July 2019 entitled "Suppliers chosen for world's longest undersea HVDC power cable":
Here is another pdf file that provides of the aims and objectives of the National Grid as reported on their website:
North Sea Link - Specialist Barge