The NordLink converter site on Ertsmyra in Sirdal municipality.

Subsea Interconnector Between Norway and Germany Now in Operation

April 14, 2021
With a capacity of up to 1400 MW, NordLink will play an important role in facilitating a climate-friendly power system.

NordLink, the subsea interconnector between Norway and Germany, is now in operation. Partners Statnett, TenneT, and KfW formally took over NordLink on March 31, 2021. The takeover marks that NordLink is no longer a construction project but in ordinary commercial operation.

Nexans and NKT produced and delivered the cables in the project. Hitachi ABB Power Grids was responsible for the HVDC technology in the converter stations in Norway and Germany. The technology will ensure an efficient exchange of power between the countries for the next 40 years.

The trial operation has been ongoing since Dec. 9, 2020, when the cable connection between Norway and Germany became available to the market for the first time. NordLink has a capacity of up to 1400 MW. It is 623 km long and runs between Sirdal municipality in Norway and Wilster in Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. Construction began in 2016.

"The trial period has now been completed. This means that we have formally taken over the NordLink project from Hitachi ABB Power Grids as well as Nexans and NKT. Together with suppliers and our partners on the German side, we have tested that the facilities and systems in both countries work as they should. The availability for the market during the trial period has been fully according to expectations," said Stein Håvard Auno, project director at Statnett. "The suppliers have done a fantastic job and we are proud to take over a world-class facility with state-of-the-art technology. NordLink will play an important role in facilitating a climate-friendly power system. We look forward to the opening event at the end of May."

"We are very proud to have built the world's longest subsea electrical interconnector that runs between Tonstad in Sirdal municipality and Wilster in Germany. We and our German partners, the system operator TenneT and the investment bank KfW, have achieved this, even in challenging times with the coronavirus. The project is one of the largest projects in Statnett's history, and we have seen impressive work and engineering achievements in this project," said Håkon Borgen, executive vice president, technology and development, at Statnett.

Tim Meyerjürgens, TenneT COO, said: "With NordLink, we have successfully commissioned a major international flagship project of the European energy transition and reliably integrated it into the electricity market. Building on a trusted partnership, we delivered the Green Cable within the specified expectations in time, budget, and quality."

"NordLink is now in the operation phase — this is good news for the European energy transition," said Markus Scheer, member of the management board of KfW IPEX-Bank. "By connecting the Norwegian and the German energy markets, we can achieve supply security and stable energy prices while increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix."

The total cost for NordLink is estimated to be between 1.7 to 1.8 billion euros (US$2.03 to US$2.15 billion). Statnett's share is half of these costs.

With the exchange of Norwegian hydropower and German wind energy, the two systems complement each other in an optimal way. NordLink facilitates a climate-friendly power system and value creation in both countries and is important in the work of achieving climate goals.

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