North Sea Link

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North Sea Link
United Kingdom
General directionnortheast–southwest
FromKvilldal, Norway
Passes throughNorth Sea
ToBlyth, England
Ownership information
National Grid plc
Construction information
Manufacturer of conductor/cablePrysmian (offshore section)
Nexans (onshore section)
Cable layerC/S Giulio Verne
C/S Nexans Skagerrak
Manufacturer of substationsABB
Installer of substationsABB
Technical information
Typesubmarine cable
Type of currentHVDC
Total length730 km (450 mi)
Power rating1,400 MW
No. of circuits2

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.[1]


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.[2][3]

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.[4] National Grid quotes various groups in favor of more interconnections.[5] In March 2015, Statnett and National Grid announced a decision to "start the construction phase",[6][7][8] a month after announcing the "Nemo link", a similar connection between the United Kingdom and Belgium.[9] 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.[10]


The cable will run from Kvilldal, Suldal, in Norway, to Cambois in the United Kingdom.[11] The route survey of the offshore section was conducted by MMT in 2012.[12][13] 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 interconnection may also connect the North Sea wind farms as well as offshore oil and gas platforms, becoming the backbone of the proposed North Sea Offshore Grid.[2][14]

Technical description[edit]

The cable will be 730 kilometres (450 mi) long.[11] It has a planned capacity of 1,400 MW.[6] It is estimated to cost €2 billion and become operational in 2021.[6][15] 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.[11] 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.[11] The HVDC converter stations will be built and installed by the ABB Group.[11]


Once completed the North Sea Link will give the UK access to the south Norway bidding area (NO2) of Nord Pool Spot[16] with an annual transmission capacity of 12.3 TWh.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19]

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[17] (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.[20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Adomaitis, Nerijus (2016-06-27). "Norway-England power link to go ahead despite Brexit -Statnett". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  2. ^ a b Bradbury, John (2009-10-06). "UK Norway "supergrid" agreement". Offshore Media Group AS. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  3. ^ "National Grid plans UK-Norway interconnector". Power Engineering International. PennWell Corporation. 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  4. ^ "Will explore HVDC connection between Norway and Great Britain" (Press release). Statnett. 2009-10-06. Archived from the original on 2010-09-04. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  5. ^ Getting more connected, page 3-4. National Grid, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c National Grid. "The world's longest interconnector gets underway". Archived from the original on 28 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Norge og Storbritannia nær avgjørelse om verdens lengste sjøkabel" [Norway and Great Britain are close to the decision on the world's longest submarine cable]. Teknisk Ukeblad (in Norwegian). 2015-01-05. Retrieved 2015-07-14.
  8. ^ "UK, Norway roll with 1.4GW link". reNEWS. 2015-03-23. Retrieved 2015-07-14.
  9. ^ "National Grid rolls with Nemo link". reNEWS. 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2015-07-14.
  10. ^ COM/2015/082 final: "Achieving the 10% electricity interconnection target" Text PDF page 2-5. European Commission, 25 February 2015. Archive Mirror
  11. ^ a b c d e Lee, Andrew (2015-07-14). "ABB, Prysmian and Nexans share UK-Norway link bounty". ReCharge. (subscription required). Retrieved 2015-07-14.
  12. ^ "MMT to Survey UK-Norway HVDC Cable Route". Offshore WIND. 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2014-11-20.
  13. ^ Pagnamenta, Robin (2009-10-07). "North Sea cable could bring Norway's energy to UK". The Sunday Times. Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  14. ^ Gibbs, Walter (2010-08-17). "Norway hydro can aid Europe move to renewables-IEA". Fox Business. FOX News Network. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  15. ^ "Cable to the UK". Statnett. 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  16. ^ "Southern Norway towards new HVDC-connections". Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  17. ^ a b Lie, Øyvind (2014-08-20). "Norges kraftoverskudd forsvinner til England" [Norway's power surplus disappears to England]. Teknisk Ukeblad (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  18. ^ "Cap and floor regime: Initial Project Assessment for the NSN interconnector to Norway" (PDF). Ofgem. 17 December 2014. p. 4. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
  19. ^ Kavanagh, Michael (2015-03-26). "UK draws on Norwegian green power with €2bn cable". Financial Times. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
  20. ^ "Dette er årsakene til at strømmen blir dyrere". Teknisk Ukeblad. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  21. ^

External links[edit]