Subsea cable between Norway and Germany is getting concrete

Thursday, 13 December, 2012 - 15:00

Norwegian power grid operator Statnett, German KfW bank and TenneT TSO GmbH, transmission system operator for the German North Sea region, have concluded a cooperation agreement to develop and construct a subsea cable between Germany and Norway. The high voltage direct current interconnector will help improve the distribution of in particular renewable energy sources between the two nations.

The interconnector project comprises an investment volume of approximately € 1.5 to 2 billion. Norway's state-owned Statnett will own 50 % of the project. On the German side, KfW and TenneT will jointly own 50 % of the project via a newly established project company. The target is to commence operation of the cable late 2018.

The integration of the Norwegian and German electricity markets, which are not connected directly yet, will ensure greater grid stability in the two countries, increase market efficiency, and stabilise prices between seasons. “The interconnector will enhance our domestic security of supply during dry and cold winters, and will also incite more stable energy prices throughout the year”, said Auke Lont, CEO of Statnett. Martin Fuchs, Chairman of the Board of TenneT TSO GmbH, added: “It is a good development for the integration of wind power and a vital contribution to the German Energy transition.”

Alongside the grid expansion in Germany, one of the greatest challenges in the transition to a carbon free energy supply is the creation of storage capacities for intermittent energy. With this cable wind and solar power can be exported from Germany to Norway when there is a surplus of this, while Norway can export hydropower to Germany when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow.

The agreement is based on the agreement reached between Norway and Germany in June. It comprises provisions on the further development and implementation of the project; these will result in a final investment decision in 2014.

Katharina Garus

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