Statnett in Norway and Energinett.dk in Denmark are now applying for permission from the authorities to expand the transmission capacity for electricity between the countries by applying for a concession for facilities for a new cable from Southern Norway to Jylland in Denmark. The cable will have a capacity of 600 MW and will cost NOK 3 billion.
"There is a need for more cable connections between Norway and Denmark, both to ensure energy supply in periods with little precipitation as well as it being a climate-friendly initiative. A new cable to Denmark can be in place by around 2014," says Odd Håkon Hoelsæter, CEO of Statnett.
Statnett and Energinett.dk presently own and operate three DC power cables between the countries, called the Skagerrak cables. The companies now aim to expand their collaboration by applying to the authorities for permission to build a fourth cable connection between Norway and Denmark, Skagerrak 4. The companies emphasize that a decision regarding investments will not be taken before the authorities have granted the concession.
Energinet.dk is also working together with E.On Netz to increase the transmission capacity between Jylland and Germany. A new cable connection between Norway and Denmark will thereby also lead to better capacity for exchange of power with Northern Germany.
Skagerrak 4 brings about ground-breaking solutions. Part of the capacity (100 MW) will be reserved for the sale of regulation services from Norwegian hydroelectric power plants to Denmark. It is the first time that hydroelectric powers' special ability for speedy production is being utilized commercially through this type of service. This will also be highly useful as a "back-up" for Danish wind power.
The investment will increase the transmission capacity between Norway and Denmark by approximately 60 per cent. Skagerrak 4 will comprise one new sea cable approximately 130 km in length, and facilities through to each country's main grid. On the Norwegian side new power lines, approximately 10 km in length in parallel with the lines for the three existing Skagerrak cables, are planned. There is no need for additional power lines in Norway. On the Danish side Skagerrak 4 will be connected through to the main grid in Tjele, Jylland. The total cost of the project is approximately NOK 3 billion (EUR 370 million). The investment in the sea cable will be shared equally (50 per cent each) between the companies, while the country-based investments will be covered by the individual company.
The existing Skagerrak cable has a total transmission capacity of approximately 1000 MW. Skagerrak 1 and 2 were put into operation during the period 1976 - 1977, and Skagerrak 3 in 1993. The existing connection has been important both in contributing to a more effective Nordic energy market and in securing Norway a better energy supply in those years where the production of hydroelectric power is low. For Denmark the Skagerrak cable has been important for the market activity in West Denmark. The Skagerrak cable has in this way given great utility value in both dry and wet years, as well as higher socio-economic benefits over many years.