"The next-generation main grid will contribute to increased security of supply while creating sound climate solutions that meet political objectives and facilitate higher value creation," says CEO Auke Lont, who opened Statnett's autumn conference today.

"We are fully underway, building 150 kilometres of new power lines this year alone. This will be increased to 200 kilometres next year. At most, we will be building 300-400 kilometres of new lines annually," says senior vice president for development, Håkon Borgen.

In 2012, Statnett started using the line between Sauda and Liastølen. In addition, construction work is underway for the lines between Sima and Samnanger, Ørskog and Sogndal and Varangerbotn and Skogfoss. At year-end, work equalling 150 kilometres of new power lines is scheduled for completion in these projects.

"The on-going development signals the start of a portfolio of new, major projects, including the planned line from Ofoten, via Balsfjord to Hammerfest. We will also upgrade the main grid in south-western and south-eastern Norway, as well as the interconnectors to the UK and Germany, says Lont.

The future is electric
In his speech, he showed how both supply and climate requirements support the need for more grid connections. The climate debate indicates that electricity will become an increasingly important energy carrier. The development of technology for wind and solar power will become increasingly cost-efficient. The climate challenges point to a future that is more based on electricity, in Norway and in our neighbouring countries.

"Society will become, if possible, even more dependent on a secure supply of electricity, supporting the need for comprehensive investments in new grid connections," Lont asserts.

"A rapid development rate sets major requirements for implementation. It is important to organise well and have sufficient resources in our own organisation, but we are also more dependent on efficient permit processes and a supplier industry that can actually deliver. It is important to maintain focus on cost-efficiency and proactively cut costs. Both new production and consumption must be facilitated, while the grid must be operated in a prudent and safe manner during the construction period. In addition we must set high requirements for safety and working environment."