The completion of the NorNed cable laying process between Norway and the Netherlands and the building of the new converter stations in Norway and the Netherlands are expected mid October 2007. After this completion, the NorNed high voltage direct current (HVDC) link will be tested to ensure a reliable infrastructure to the market, currently foreseen to become available in the second half of November 2007.
The NorNed-cable is an interconnection between The Netherlands and Norway. The project is a joint effort by the two national Transmission System Operators, TenneT and Statnett, as equal partners. NorNed will be an open interconnection which will be utilized via so called market coupling of the Dutch and Nordic markets This will be handled by the power exchanges APX and NordPool.
The test program comprises a low power (LP) test sequence to validate the base functionality of the NorNed HVDC link and a high power (HP) test sequence to ensure a reliable infrastructure able to take a stable and controlled 700 MW transmission. The LP tests typically take in between 30 MW and 100 MW in both directions. These LP tests will last at minimum 125 hours of actual power transmission. Taking into account the inevitable start up failures, experience indicates a potential for more hours of actual LP testing. The HP tests will be at cable load up to full capacity of 700 MW. An expected scenario indicates HP testing at 700 MW for approximately 50-60 hours, where both directions are tested.
Ensuring a reliable NorNed HVDC link might require more hours of HP testing. Where the LP tests are characterized by high failure rates and therefore planning uncertainty, the required test power will be secured via the balancing markets. For the HP tests the program will be placed on the day-ahead markets. To minimize cost for test power the southbound HP tests will be executed in daytime where the northbound HP tests will be executed at night, thus taking into account price levels in Norway and the Netherlands.