World’s Longest Undersea Power Cable Linking Norway And UK

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World's Longest Undersea Power Cable Linking Norway And UK

The world’s longest undersea power connection was switched on last month, allowing Norway and the UK to share renewable energy. Read more about the world’s longest undersea power cable linking Norway and UK.

National Grid is a joint venture with Norwegian system operator Statnett. The €1.6 billion ($1.86 billion) project is a major contribution to UK’s journey to net zero. British National Grid has dubbed the North Sea Link “the world’s longest subsea electricity interconnector.”

World's Longest Undersea Power Cable Linking Norway And UK
The North Sea Link connects Blyth in Northumberland with the Norwegian village of Kvilldal, near Stavanger

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The North Sea Link should see the UK reduce its carbon emissions by 23 million tons by 2030. The 450-mile-long 720 kilometer) cable, which connects Blyth in Northumberland with the Norwegian village of Kvilldal, near Stavanger, opened with a maximum capacity of 700MW and will increase to the link’s full capacity of 1400MW over a three-month period.

According to National Grid, when Britain’s wind production is high and demand for electricity is low, the system will facilitate exports to Norway. This will in turn help to conserve water in the latter’s reservoirs. The North Sea Link should provide enough clean electricity to power 1.4 million homes.

World's Longest Undersea Power Cable Linking Norway And UK
The world’s longest undersea power cable

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Norwegian power generation is sourced from hydropower plants connected to large reservoirs, which can respond faster to fluctuations in demand compared to other major generation technologies. However, as the water level in reservoirs is subject to weather conditions, production varies throughout seasons and years.

National Grid has previously described interconnectors as “high voltage cables that are used to connect the electricity systems of neighboring countries,” facilitating the trade of surplus power.

“North Sea Link is a truly remarkable feat of engineering. We had to go through mountains, fjords and across the North Sea to make this happen. But as we look forward to COP26, North Sea Link is also a great example of two countries working together to maximize renewable energy resources for mutual benefit,” said Cordi O’Hara, President of National Grid Ventures.

World's Longest Undersea Power Cable Linking Norway And UK
“We had to go through mountains, fjords and across the North Sea to make this happen,” said Cordi O’Hara, President of National Grid Ventures. Photo: North Sea Link

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NSL is the fifth interconnector for National Grid, which also operates links to Belgium, France and the Netherlands. By 2030, 90% of electricity imported via National Grid’s interconnectors will be from zero-carbon sources, saving 100 million tons of carbon.

Statnett refers to the three first operational months as a “trial period”. In a comment published by National Grid, Statnett’s CEO Hilde Tonne said: “As North Sea Link goes into trial operations, I am proud of the engineering feat produced by our joint team.”

World’s Longest Undersea Power Cable Linking Norway And UK, written by Tor Kjolberg

Feature image (on top): Photo North Sea Link: Saga Subsea

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