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UK-Norwegian interconnector JV

A joint venture, NorthConnect, has been set up between UK, Norwegian and Swedish companies to plan and build an electrical interconnector between UK and Norway.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

Vattenfall, Agder Energi, E-CO, Lyse and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) will, through NorthConnect, look at the technical and economic viability of developing, building and operating the interconnector, which could allow for an increased use of low-carbon and renewable energy.

By interlinking flexible hydropower with intermittent energy sources such as wind, NorthConnect could contribute to reduce the need for fossil fuels.

It is expected that the 550-700 km long high voltage direct current (HVDC) interconnector will need to have a capacity of 1.2-2 GW. The aim is to have NorthConnect in operation before 2020.

Harald von Heyden, Head of Vattenfall Asset Optimisation and trading, says: “The interconnector will be a direct link between our core market Sweden, which is part of one single Nordic market area [NordPool], and our ambition to growth the renewable energy portfolio in the United Kingdom.”

SSE CEO Ian Marchant, adds: “Increasing interconnection between networks is likely to be an important feature of the electricity industry in Europe as the drive to maximise supplies of secure, low-carbon sources of energy increases over the next two decades.

“Scotland and Norway have rich and diverse natural resources from which to produce large amounts of electricity, and an interconnector could allow the potential of those complementary resources to be fulfilled by meeting the needs of customers across North West Europe.”

Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, has welcomed the agreement and has announced that the JV will be supported with €50,000 from the Scottish European Green Energy Centre (SEGEC).

At the moment, there is a technical preference for the shortest route possible for the interconnector, which would mean a landing point in the North East of Scotland.

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