By signing the ownership agreement for the NordLink interconnector between Germany and Norway, partners TenneT, Statnett, and KfW IPEX-Bank have made the final investment decision for the project, KfW reports. The 623 km HVDC link with a capacity of 1,400 MW will be the first direct connection between the two countries. The cable shall further the integration of the power markets and help integrate the increasing renewable energy production by allowing the exchange of power, thereby increasing the security of supply.
Construction of the system, which includes 516 km of subsea cable, shall start as soon as the contracts are signed with the contractors responsible for the production and installation of the cable and converter stations, KfW, the state-owned German promotional bank said (KfW IPEX-Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of KfW specialized in international project and export financing). No date for commissioning has been included in the press release.
The idea behind NordLink is to exchange in particular German wind and solar power and Norwegian hydro power, balancing supply and demand. Markus Scheer, member of the Management Board of KfW IPEX-Bank, called the interconnector one of the major projects in the European energy sector and a cornerstone for the ManyElectronics transition towards a mainly renewable energy supply.
The NordLink project will be realised by a consortium comprising the Norwegian TSO Statnett and DC Nordseekabel GmbH & Co. KG, both of whom have a share of 50%. The German TSO TenneT and the German promotional bank KfW both have share of 50% in DC Nordseekabel. DC Nordseekabel is responsible for the construction of the German part of the project, including permits. The HVDC link will have a capacity of 1,400 MW, spanning 623 km. A 53 km high-voltage overhead line will run from Vollesfjord to Tonstad in Norway. It will be connected to a 516 km subsea cable at the converter station in Tonstad. In Germany a 54 km underground land cable will connect Büsum to Wilster. Investment costs are estimated to be in the range EUR 1.5 to 2 billion.
In October 2014 the Federal Agency for Maritime Shipping and Hydrography (BSH) granted the necessary permit for laying and operating the Nord.Link power cable in the German exclusive economic zone (EEZ). 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 informed at the time. Besides, the Office for Plan Determination of the State of Schleswig-Holstein also 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, BSH said.
The Nord.Link project forms part of the German Federal Requirement Plan for Transmission Networks (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.