The power cables between Smestad and Sogn in Oslo are old. The current cables, which date from 1955 and 1977, are nearing the end of their technical lifespan, and capacity is about to run out. Since 1990, electricity consumption has increased by 30 per cent, and it is expected to continue to increase in line with the population growth and new consumption.

"In order to secure the supply of electricity to Greater Oslo in the years to come, we urgently need to replace these interconnectors and upgrade the Smestad substation. This must take place regardless of how much electricity consumption increases. To upgrade Oslo's old power grid is necessary in order to meet future requirements for security of supply, urban development and climate solutions," says Borgen.

Smestad substation was built in 1952. The substation has reached the end of its lifespan and needs upgrading. Capacity at the substation must be increased to provide a better supply of electricity to residents in Oslo in the future.

Cables in tunnel and a new compact facility

Statnett’s Board of Directors decided to both renew the Smestad-Sogn cable interconnector in a tunnel and upgrade Smestad substation to a new, compact substation facility in an underground facility. The project is estimated to cost NOK 1500-1700 million.

"The upgrade of the Smestad-Sogn cable interconnectors and Smestad substation is the start of a comprehensive upgrade of the grid in Oslo and surrounding areas in the years to come and will help ensure a reliable supply of electricity in Oslo," Borgen says.

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) is currently considering the licence application for the Smestad-Sogn cable interconnectors and Smestad substation.