Longest subsea electricity cable completed

Statnett and National Grid North Sea Link have completed work on the UK/ Norway subsea electricity link.

The North Sea Link (NSL) is a 50-50 joint venture that will connect the electricity systems of the two countries via high voltage subsea cables from Kvilldal in Norway to Blyth in the UK Providing opportunities for shared use of renewable energy, increasing the security of electricity supplies for both countries and creating additional transmission capacity for electricity to be traded between both countries.

The cable is the world’s longest, and is set to be switched on this week, as testing begins for the 720km interconnector that will trade power between the UK and Norway.

With Norwegian power generation coming predominantly from hydropower plants connected to large reservoirs, it can respond quickly to fluctuations in demand compared to other major generation technologies. However, as the water level in reservoirs is subject to weather conditions, production varies throughout seasons and years.

NSL will enable both countries to maximise the use of their zero carbon natural resources. When wind generation is high and electricity demand low in the UK, NSL will allow up to 1,400MW of power to flow from the UK, conserving water in Norway’s reservoirs. When demand is high in the UK and there is low wind generation, up to 1,400MW can flow from Norway, helping to ensure secure, affordable and sustainable electricity supplies for consumers.

National Grid is also working on another interconnector, the Viking Link that will connect the UK and Denmark in 2024, and the ElecLink between the UK and France through the Channel Tunnel, is expected next year.

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