At an event yesterday, Maroš Šefčovič told the project partners National Grid and Statnett that the renamed North Sea Link (NSL) was a significant step in strengthening regional energy cooperation.
“I have said many times that the Energy Union does not stop at the EU border. The development of a North Sea energy system, based on the complimentary nature of both energy markets is a great example of what the Energy Union can mean to European citizens. The commission is keen to help drive this ambitious project forward.”
Construction on the €2 billion project started last year on the Norwegian side at Kvilldal in Rogaland. Work on the UK side will begin at Blyth in Northumberland later in the year.
The interconnector will be the first direct link between the electricity systems of the two countries. Three main contractors won major contracts last year. Prysmian and Nexans are delivering the two parallell cables with a 720 kilometres route length. ABB will build the two convertor stations.
Auke Lont, Statnett CEO said:
"We are very proud to be part of this groundbreaking project. We are building the world's longest subsea power cable, which will facilitate the transition to a sustainable European energy system and help us get the most out of our renewable natural resources for many decades to come."
John Pettigrew, executive director at National Grid said:
“North Sea Link is a great example of what further interconnection can mean for the European energy market as well as our own individual countries. Interconnectors are one of those rare technologies that can help security of supply, enhance competition between markets and decarbonize the energy we use.
North Sea Link has been named a European Commission project of Common Interest because the link will enhance electricity market integration. This has resulted is a €31 million grant to support early stage engineering studies. It is expected to be in operation by 2021.
The interconnector comprises a 720 km subsea High Voltage Direct Current system cable system that will be the longest of its type in the world. There is an additional 10 km onshore section and a HVDC converter station will be built at each end of the link.
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