Why connect Norway and the UK?
NSL will connect the Nordic and British markets directly for the first time, providing significant benefits for both countries.
NSL will provide additional transmission capacity for electricity to be traded more efficiently.
NSL will contribute to downward pressure on electricity prices.
In 2011 the Norwegian and British Governments set out their shared vision for the North Sea, including supporting efforts to develop an electricity interconnector between the two countries. Interconnectors play a vital role in achieving a competitive and integrated energy market to benefit consumers in Europe.
The Norwegian and British energy systems are different and complementary.
In the UK a number of power stations are due to close between 2016-2020. New generation will come on stream; however, this will come largely from renewable sources such as wind power which by its nature is intermittent.
Norwegian power generation comes predominantly from hydropower plants connected to large reservoirs. Such generation is flexible and very quick to respond to fluctuations in demand compared to other major generation technologies. The water level in reservoirs is, however, subject to weather conditions and so production varies throughout seasons and years.
NSL will enable both countries to maximise the use of these natural resources for the benefit of consumers in Norway and the UK.
When wind generation is high and electricity demand is low in the UK, NSL will allow up to 1,400MW of power to flow from the UK, conserving water in Norway’s reservoirs. When demand is high in the UK and there is low wind generation, up to 1,400MW can flow from Norway, helping to ensure secure electricity supplies.
Renewables and climate change
NSL will help increase opportunities for shared use of renewable energy – a mix of generation, including wind power from the UK and hydropower from Norway.
To meet domestic and international renewable and climate change targets, the UK and Norway will continue to generate more power from renewable sources, including offshore and onshore wind, and large and small scale hydropower.
Interconnectors provide an effective way to manage fluctuations in supply and demand.
Contracts totalling €1.5billion have been awarded to build the North Sea Link – the first electricity link between UK and Norway.
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National Grid and Statnett, the Norwegian Transmission System Operator, will today sign the ownership agreement which signals the start of the construction phase for the 730 kilometre interconnector between UK and Norway.
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On 13 October, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy granted Statnett a licence to construct an interconnector linking Norway and the UK. This is an important milestone in the project’s development.
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