'Critical stage' for UK-Norway link

Plans for a 1.4GW interconnector between the UK and Norway are entering a “critical stage” and need favourable policy decisons, a Prime Ministerial meeting between the two nations has been told.

The NSN Link – which would be the world’s longest marine cable at 700km and play a big role in helping to integrate northern Europe’s clean-power generation – has been bubbling along for five years.

UK premier David Cameron and his Norwegian counterpart  Erna Solberg discussed the plan in London yesterday, said UK network operator National Grid, which is working with Statnett of Norway on the project.

Peter Boreham, National Grid’s director of European business development, said:“We are reaching a critical stage in the project and we need to be sure that there will be a supportive regulatory framework that will allow us to take the final investment decision.”

For example, Norway wants the interconnector to have the chance to be part of the 'capacity mechanism' arrangements under the UK’s electricity market reforms.

Boreham added: “The risks and challenges of building what would the world’s longest interconnector are considerable, but there would be great benefits for both countries with increased sharing of renewable energy and more efficient trading of electricity.”

The project partners are looking for a landing site for the cable in northeast England. If all goes to plan the cable could be operating by 2020.