“NordLink connects two perfectly complementary systems for the exchange of renewable energy: German wind and solar power, on the one side, and Norwegian hydropower, on the other,” said Lex Hartman, member of the TenneT executive board. “Projects like NordLink make an integrated European energy market possible, to ensure that energy is directed to where it is needed. Easily, safely, and eco-efficiently,” Hartman stated.
The ceremony was carried out together with the Schleswig-Holstein Minister of Energy, Robert Habeck, the Norwegian ambassador, Elisabeth Walaas, and the mayors of Wilster and Nortorf. In addition, the mayors from Sirdal and Flekkefjord in Norway attended as well as county commissioners from Aust-Agder and Vest-Agder. Many representatives from federal, state and regional politics, business and public life attended the ceremonial event.
“The interconnector increases the possibilities for exchange of renewable energy, contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions and achievement of climate goals and increases the security of supply in both countries”, stated Gisela von Krosigk, Managing Director at KfW IPEX-Bank.
Håkon Borgen, Executive Vice President at Statnett, said: “When there is a surplus of hydropower in Norway, we can export this to Germany and create value. When there is a demand for more power, especially during dry and cold seasons, Norwegian consumers will profit because we can import German wind and solar power for a reasonable price.”
The Norwegian ambassador, Elisabeth Walaas, said: “This is a milestone in German-Norwegian energy relations. NordLink is taking the realisation of the energy transition and the integration of renewable energy to a whole new level.”
NordLink is the first interconnector to provide a direct link between the Norwegian and German energy markets. This connection promotes the integration of the northwest European energy market, increases market efficiency and security of supply, and contributes to a climate friendly energy system for the future.
NordLink has a capacity of 1,400 megawatts (MW). This places its capacity considerably above that of a large conventional power station.
Due to the length of the route and the large transmission capacity, direct current (DC) is used for efficient transmission with low losses. Two parallel cables (positive and negative poles) are connected to converter stations at each end.
The converter stations will be built in Wilster, Schleswig-Holstein, and Tonstad in Norway. At these locations, the electricity will be converted between DC and alternate current (AC) and fed into the German and Norwegian AC transmission grid to supply homes and businesses with electricity.
The NordLink project will be realised by the Norwegian TSO Statnett, German TSO TenneT and German promotional bank KfW.
Facts and figures
- 623 km long, high-voltage direct current transmission (HVDC)
- A capacity of 1,400 MW at ± 500 kV
- Offshore: 516 km subsea cable
- Onshore: 54 km of underground cable (Büsum – Wilster in Schleswig-Holstein) and a 53-km overhead line (Vollesfjord – Tonstad in Vest-Agder)
- Grid connection points: the Wilster (DE) and Tonstad (NO) transformer substations
- In operation in the year 2020
Statnett is responsible for the development and operation of the Norwegian transmission grid, including interconnectors with several other European countries. Statnett employs around 1,200 people and operates 11,000 kilometres of high-voltage lines. In 2015, Statnett generated a turnover of 5.9 billion NOK.
TenneT is a leading European electricity transmission system operator (TSO) with its main activities in the Netherlands and Germany. With approximately 22,000 kilometres of high-voltage connections, we ensure a secure supply of electricity to 41 million end-users. We employ approximately 3,000 people, have a turnover of EUR 3.3 billion and an asset value totaling EUR 15.4 billion. TenneT is one of Europe’s major investors in national and cross-border grid connections on land and at sea, bringing together the Northwest European energy markets and enabling the energy transition.
KfW is one of the world’s leading development banks. With its decades of experience, KfW is committed on behalf of federal and state governments to improving the economic, social and environmental conditions of people worldwide. In 2015 alone, it provided subsidies of €79.3 billion. Thirty-seven per cent of these subsidies were allocated to climate and environmental protection measures. In Germany, the KfW Banking Group has offices in Frankfurt, Berlin, Bonn and Cologne. It is represented in 80 locations worldwide.