Deal on 1.4GW UK-Norway link

The UK’s National Grid and Norwegian transmission system operator (TSO) Statnett have inked a co-operation deal to press ahead with developing a 1.4GW underwater electricity trunkline between the two countries.

The NSN link, which would run 700km beneath the North Sea boosted by two converter stations, would be the longest marine interconnector in the world.

If an investment green-light is given to the €1.5bn-2bn project next year, power could be flowing through the line as early as 2019.

"This is another important stage in the development. The joining of the energy systems of both countries brings much wider benefits – delivering secure and affordable power to consumers as Europe moves towards integrating its renewable energy,” says National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday.

Statnett also has a 50/50 tie-up with TSO TenneT and investment bank KfW to build the so-called NordLink interconnector project linking Norway and Germany.

"These agreements are important for us to take the projects one step further. We are now ready to submit the application for Norwegian Interconnector License to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. Together these events represent a key milestone for the projects," says Statnett chief executive Auke Lont.

The interconnectors are seen as cornerstones in “supergrid” development plans for the European countries bordering the North Sea basin.

The NSN project will now set about securing the necessary regulatory and environmental sign-offs and concessions, while organising procurement deals for the cable and two converter stations.