NordLink converter station, Wilster/West substation.
Image by TenneT.
NordLink, the 1.4-GW interconnector between Germany and Norway, was officially inaugurated on Thursday at a digital event attended by German chancellor Angela Merkel and Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg.
The 623 km (387 m) long high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) NordLink connects the German and Norwegian power grids, enabling the exchange of German wind energy with Norwegian hydropower.
The project was implemented by Norwegian transmission system operator (TSO) Statnett and DC Nordseekabel GmbH & Co KG, which is equally owned by TSO TenneT and German development bank KfW. It was brought into operation in April after several months of trials.
According to Statnett’s announcement, the total costs for the project, which took five years to build, are estimated in the range of EUR 1.7 billion (USD 2.1bn) to EUR 1.8 billion.
“The first direct electricity bridge not only helps to stabilise energy prices in both countries. NordLink is a milestone for sustainable energy supply and climate protection in Europe. Because the focus is on exchanging renewable energy,” said Merkel.
Solberg said NordLink “will contribute to a more efficient use of power resources and lay the foundations for further investments in renewable production.” It will also contribute to the countries’ efforts in lowering emissions, Norway’s prime minister added.
TenneT chief operating officer Tim Meyerjuergens said that the company will continue to focus on the North Sea -- “the future powerhouse of Europe.”
“We will provide connection capacities for at least 27 gigawatts there by 2030, 17 gigawatts of which will be in the German North Sea,” the TenneT COO noted.