ABB has won orders worth around $900 million from a consortium comprising utilities Statnett and TenneT as well as promotional bank KfW to supply on-shore HVDC converter stations and the cable system in the German sector that will facilitate the first ever interconnection between the Norwegian and German power grids. The link will be 623 km long, making it the longest HVDC connection in Europe. It is scheduled to go into commercial operation in 2020. The contract also includes a five-year service agreement.
NordLink will be key in connecting Norway with Germany and has been designated as one of the European Commission’s projects of common interest to help create an integrated European Union energy market. It will increase energy security in both countries and support the integration of renewable energy into the countries’ grids by allowing surplus wind and solar power produced in Germany to be transmitted to Norway, and hydroelectric power to be transmitted in the opposite direction. The link will transmit power at a record capacity of 1,400 MW, which is enough to supply 3.6 million German households.
ABB will design, engineer, supply and commission two 525 kilovolt (kV), 1,400 MW converter stations, using its Voltage Sourced Converter (VSC) technology, called HVDC Light®. One station will be situated near Tonstad in southern Norway and the other near Wilster in northern Germany.
As part of the project, ABB will also design, manufacture and install a 525 kV mass impregnated (MI) cable system in the German sector, which will include 154 km of subsea and 54 km of underground cable.