North Sea Link
|North Sea Link|
|Passes through||North Sea|
National Grid plc
|Manufacturer of conductor/cable||Prysmian (offshore section)|
Nexans (onshore section)
|Cable layer||C/S Giulio Verne|
C/S Nexans Skagerrak
|Manufacturer of substations||ABB|
|Installer of substations||ABB|
|Type of current||HVDC|
|Total length||730 km (450 mi)|
|Power rating||1,400 MW|
|No. of circuits||2|
The North Sea Link (also known as North Sea Network Link or NSN Link, HVDC Norway–Great Britain, and Norway–UK interconnector) is a 1,400 MW subsea high-voltage direct current electricity cable under construction between Norway and the United Kingdom. It is a joint project of the transmission system operators Statnett and National Grid plc and is due to be completed in 2021.
The project was first proposed in 2003 when Statnett and National Grid prepared a 1,200 MW interconnector between Suldal in Norway and Easington, County Durham, in the United Kingdom. This project was suspended.
On 6 October 2009, Statnett and National Grid announced they were conducting a feasibility study of the cable. According to the pre-feasibility study the project will be economically and technologically feasible. It will be a commercial cable jointly owned by Statnett and National Grid NSN Link Limited, a subsidiary of National Grid. National Grid quotes various groups in favor of more interconnections. In March 2015, Statnett and National Grid announced a decision to "start the construction phase", a month after announcing the "Nemo link", a similar connection between the United Kingdom and Belgium. Along with Viking Link from Denmark, they would increase the UK's electricity interconnection level (transmission capacity relative to production capacity) from the 6% it was in 2014.
The cable will run from Kvilldal, Suldal, in Norway, to Blyth in the United Kingdom. The route survey of the offshore section was conducted by MMT in 2012. Its converter station in England will be located near to the cable landfall in East Sleekburn village and it will be connected to the National Grid at the Blyth substation.
The cable will be 730 kilometres (450 mi) long. It has a planned capacity of 1,400 MW. It is estimated to cost €2 billion and become operational in 2021. The offshore cable will be supplied by Prysmian. The cable will be manufactured at the Arco Felice factory in Naples, Italy, and it will be installed by the cable-laying vessel Giulio Verne. Cable for the fjord, tunnel and lake sections, and the onshore connection in Norway, will be supplied by Nexans and manufactured at Nexans' plant in Halden, Norway. It will be laid by using Capjet trenching system and the cable-laying vessel Skagerrak. The HVDC converter stations will be built and installed by the ABB Group.
Once completed the North Sea Link will give the UK access to the south Norway bidding area (NO2) of Nord Pool Spot with an annual transmission capacity of 12.3 TWh. According to the analysis by the United Kingdom market regulator Ofgem, in the Base case scenario the cable would contribute around £490 million to the welfare of the United Kingdom and around £330 million to the welfare of Norway. According to the analysis, over the 25-year cap and floor regime (a regulation for how much money a developer can earn once the interconnector is in operation) the benefit of the United Kingdom consumers is expected to be around £3.5 billion under the Base case scenario. Once the cable is completed the average domestic consumer bill in the United Kingdom would be around £2 less.
According to Auke Lont, CEO of Statnett, Norway may use the interconnector to import electricity at times of peak supply in the United Kingdom, which could temporarily reduce hydroelectricity output in Norway and shift Norwegian hydroelectricity production to peak demand times.
In 2014 the Norwegian energy service provider Markedskraft analyzed the impact of two interconnectors under construction from Norway, the North Sea Link and NorGer a submarine cable of identical capacity connecting Norway with Germany. The electricity will at any moment flow towards the country with the highest price and these price differentials generate income for the interconnector whether the electricity flows one way or the other. "Markedskraft" estimated that while the Norwegian import and export via NorGer will zero out in 2020, the annual net export to the UK via North Sea Link is projected to be about the 10 TWh, i.e. almost all of the interconnector's annual capacity. "Markedskraft" go on to estimate that the increased demand for Norwegian electricity via North Sea Link will increase the price of electricity in Norway by 25 NOK/MWh (ca. 2.6 €/MWh). A 2016 study expects the two cables to increase price in South Norway by 2 øre/kWh, less than other factors.
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