The need for the next generation main grid is increasing:
- The main grid is aging
- Security of supply is a high priority
- The grid creates values
- Push for renewables requires more grid capacity
- Challenges in system operation
- Population growth in cities
Future investment level
Statnett’s plans correspond to an expected investment level of NOK 5-7 billion each year for the next ten years. A development capacity which corresponds to this investment level provides possibilities for building a main grid that will respond to the challenges of the future, while also delivering electricity at all times. As it takes several years to build up or reduce capacity, both for Statnett and our contractors, it is cost-efficient to avoid major fluctuations in investment levels from one year to another.
Statnett carefully assesses costs and benefits for each project, looking for cost-efficient solutions. With a long project development time, there could be changes in consumption and production which alter the socioeconomic profitability. Projects are assessed continuously, so that we can change priorities and release resources for the initiatives that are most important at any given time. To give an example, the Norwegian part of The SydVest Link project was terminated in 2013 because the project was no longer considered profitable. New needs may arise that trigger new projects and initiatives for both the short and the long term.
According to the plan over the next ten years, the Norwegian main grid will be considerably closer to an entire upgrade with a major increase in capacity. Consequently, the investment level should be somewhat lower in the subsequent decade. There will, however, be a need for reinvestments and upgrades due to the age and technical condition of the facilities, and we will also have some voltage upgrade projects during that period. New needs that might require new investments are also likely to emerge. Large-scale electrification of new petroleum facilities in Northern Norway or new renewable targets, for instance, might trigger grid investments over and above those identified so far. Overall, we expect to see a need for significant investments in that second decade as well, but the annual investment level will probably be somewhat lower than in the coming decade.