"We are well underway in developing the power grid of the future in the Nordic countries. Most of the projects that were initiated in 2004 and 2008 are now operational or being built. This shows that a joint Nordic partnership on power grid development yields results. We will continue this effort," says CEO Auke Lont of Statnett, who is a keynote speaker at the ministerial summit of the Nordic Council in Hell, outside Trondheim. He will present the new Nordic power grid investment plan on behalf of the Nordic system operators.

"Increased power grid capacity is important for several reasons. It is important in order to ensure the secure supply of electricity to people in the future. It is important in order to reach the national goals for renewable energy by 2020. And it is important in order to achieve a more equal price level in the Nordic region."

Also important to look beyond the Nordic countries
The Nordic power grid companies are planning to invest around EUR 11 million in the Nordic power grid in the coming decade. This figure only relates to the investment mentioned in the Nordic investment plan, and does not include all investments in the national plans. During this period, a total of eight new interconnectors are planned within the Nordic region and between the Nordic countries and continental Europe.

"We must build the power grid in order to facilitate a well-functioning Nordic power market. But our power grid plans must also be viewed with regard to what is happening in continental Europe and the Baltic states. Further integration of systems in the Nordic countries and between these and continental Europe/the UK, will facilitate the utilisation of renewable energy resources in the Nordic countries, as well as contributing to balance the European and British power systems," Lont says. The Nordic power grid plans thus support the current transformation of the energy systems in Europe.

"More interconnectors between the Nordic countries and continental Europe will also secure the supply of power to us in years with little precipitation, which Norway experienced in the winter of 2010/2011. At the same time, the Nordic countries can deliver power to the continent in so-called wet-years and during power surplus situations."

Good cooperation is key
"The Nordic power system has been very well integrated over several years. And a close cooperation between the power-grid companies has been decisive in order to ensure rational development of the system. This will remain important in years ahead when we will carry out the investments in the new Nordic investment plan," Lont says.

"We are on schedule when it comes to building the power grid of the future in the Nordic countries. We have delivered good results with our previous investment plans. We will continue to do so with this plan."