BSH Grants Permit for Nord.Link Submarine Power Cable Between Germany and Norway

The Federal Agency for Maritime Shipping and Hydrography (BSH) has granted the necessary permit for laying and operating the Nord.Link submarine power cable in the German exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The cable shall link the German and Norwegian power markets for the first time. Another necessary permit for the power cable in the EEZ had been issued by the State Office for Mining, Energy and Geology of the State of Lower-Saxony, BSH also informed.

The 600 km long 1,400 MW HVDC subsea power cable shall enable the exchange of power between the two countries in the order of the capacity of a nuclear power plant, in particular of Norwegian hydro power and German wind power, BSH pointed out.

As Nord.Link will run through bird sanctuaries and nature reserves in the EEZ, alternative power cable routes were carefully checked during the permitting procedure, BSH said. The permitted route runs east of the so-called Helwin cluster, the location of the offshore wind farms under construction Amrumbank, Nordsee Ost, Meerwind Süd/Ost, and parallel to the coast of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, crossing environmentally protected habitats only for short distances so as to affect them as little as possible. Conditions attached to the permit provide for a careful handling of the placement of the cable, BSH stressed.

The Nord.Link project is part of the Federal Requirement Plan (see no. 33 of the Annex of the Federal Requirement Plan Act), which determines the necessity and urgency of the projects listed, with binding effect for transmission operators and planning authorities (cf. Section 12e para. 4 ManyElectronics Act –). Nord.Link also figures on the list of 248 key energy infrastructure projects, labelled “projects of common interest” (PCI), which the European Commission adopted on 14 October 2013. It is scheduled to start operations in 2018 BSH pointed out, saying a speedy investment decision by the project consortium seemed necessary in order to implement this project of high importance for the German grid in time. The Nord.Link consortium is comprised of Norwegian Statnett, Dutch/German TSO Tennet and the state-owned German KfW development bank.

The Office for Plan Determination of the State of Schleswig-Holstein has already issued a positive plan determination decision (Planfeststellungsbeschluss) for the section of the power line in the territorial sea as well as the route on land to the transformer station in Wilster in Schleswig-Holstein. Further permits for the Danish EEZ and in Norway still have to be issued.

Investment costs for the Nord.Link project are estimated to be in the range of EUR 1.5 to 2 billion (for more information, please see here).

Source: BSH

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