New cable links Germany and Norway
Thanks to the new NordLink interconnector, Germany and Norway can supply one another directly with electric power. On Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg officially inaugurated the power cable between the two countries.
Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the electrical interconnector NordLink, which she described as an important component in the energy shift – the move to put the country’s energy mix on a more sustainable footing. “NordLink, which is over 600 km long, is helping ensure a sustainable energy supply.” Not only in Germany and Norway, but indirectly throughout Europe. “In the final analysis, we need to think of power supply in European dimensions,” said Angela Merkel.
The European Green Deal and European climate targets demand a radical transformation of the energy sector. The Chancellor pointed out that this transformation will only be possible if we have a synchronised grid, and that there is still a lot to be done inside Germany in this regard.
A connection provides reliability
The aim of the NordLink interconnector is to help ensure reliable and secure supplies on both electricity markets. When less power is generated in Germany, Norwegian hydropower can help make good the shortfall to meet demand. Conversely, the direct link to Norway offers the Scandinavian country the chance to tap into German wind power when demand is high, thus saving hydropower.
Making better use of wind power
The advantages for Norway are also advantages for Germany’s energy shift. Surplus wind power capacity can thus be used. Wind turbines will no longer have to be closed down when they could be delivering green power, as is currently the case, primarily because the electricity transmission grid has not yet been adequately developed.
The electrical interconnector thus plays a major part in driving forward the energy shift. And in its way, it will help stabilise the electricity grid and the price of electricity. NordLink, a project born of shared interests in Europe, should also be seen as a model at European level.
The NordLink interconnector is the first direct current transmission system between Germany and Norway. In Norway it is connected up to the existing national transmission grid in Tonstad, and in Germany in Wilster. It is thus 623 kilometres long in total. The transmission system uses high-voltage direct current technology, with a maximum capacity of 1,400 MW.
The NordLink project was realised by a consortium in which the Norwegian transmission system operator Statnett and the German company DC Nordseekabel GmbH & Co.KG are equal partners. The transmission system operator TenneT and the federally-owned Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) each own 50 percent of DC Nordseekabel.