There comes a time in every guy’s life when he realises that he is just as stereotypical as every other male in the world. I had to come to the terms that, despite many differences, when it comes to big toys, I am just like every other guy in the world. Which was why I was so excited to see that the world’s largest interconnector is soon to begin construction, connecting the UK with Norway’s low-carbon hydroelectricity.
The news that National Grid, the UK’s transmission network operator, and Statnett, Norway’s transmission network operator, had signed the ownership agreement that will initiate the construction phase of the world’s longest interconnector, 730 kilometres in length, was announced on Thursday of last week.
The NSN Link will funnel hydroelectricity from Norway, with a planned capacity of 1,400 MW — which is enough to power nearly 750,000 UK homes — and is expected to become fully operational in 2020.
Subsea cables will connect Kvilldal, in South West Norway, to East Sleekburn, on the Northumberland coast, passing through Norwegian and British waters. Work on this plan has been in the pipeline since 2013 when the first application was made, and according to the Project Timeline, construction itself is set to begin in 2017/18, with site preparation preceding the main works.
“Access to low-carbon energy from Norway hydro power stations will help us meet the challenge of greener, affordable energy,” said Alan Foster, director of European Business Development for National Grid. “It also adds to the diversity of energy sources for UK and potentially can reduce peak prices with benefits for consumers and businesses.”
“This is a project I have worked on with Statnett and National Grid for two years, and I am delighted they’ve now made this massive investment decision,” added UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey.
“We are proud to be part of this project,” commented Auke Lont, Statnett CEO. “Not only is this a technically impressive project where we will set a new world record, it is also an important contribution to the increase of renewable energy production on both sides, and thereby an essential part of the future electricity system. In addition it will contribute to security of supply and value creation for both Norway and the UK.”
Image Credit: via Statnett