The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced a loan worth EUR350 million for the ±525 kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) NordLink, first interconnection between Germany and Norway across the North Sea.
The project is being implemented by Norway’s state-owned transmission system operator (TSO) Statnett and Germany’s DC Nordseekabel GmbH & Company KG, which is owned by Germany’s TSO TenneT and KfW Development Bank. Statnett will own 50 per cent of the project, while KfW and TenneT will each hold 25 per cent equity share.
NordLink will be the first interconnector to directly link the two countries. The project involves the construction of a 520-600-km-long, ±525 kV HVDC link with a capacity of 1,400 MW to connect the power grids of Norway and Germany. The cable, comprising subsea and underground sections, will run from Tonstad in Vest-Agder (Norway) to Wilster in Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) across the North Sea. Two converter stations, one each in Germany and Norway, will also be built for coupling to the German and Norwegian high voltage grids.
The project aims to improve the security of power supply and facilitate increased renewable energy production in both countries. Germany is expected to import hydroelectric power from Norway, and export the electricity generated from the wind and solar energy projects, especially during dry and cold seasons. It is also designated as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) in the priority corridor northern seas offshore grid.
After several delays due to insufficient cable production capacities, Statnett and TenneT started the construction of the high voltage link in September 2016. The project is now scheduled for completion in 2020.