Photo: Daniel Reinhardt/TenneT

The project partners TenneT, Statnett and KfW (represented by KfW IPEX-Bank) have carried out the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the German converter station for the NordLink subsea cable project and a symbolic cable pulling.

The ceremony was performed together with the Schleswig-Holstein Minister of Energy, Robert Habeck, the Norwegian ambassador, Elisabeth Waalas, and the mayors of Wilster and Nortorf.

NordLink is the first interconnector to provide a direct link between the Norwegian and German energy markets. The link consists of a 623 km long, high-voltage direct current transmission (HVDC), of which 516 km is subsea cable.

The power line connects the capacities of Norwegian hydropower plants with those of wind and solar farms in Germany.

“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.

“NordLink is an important building block for the future of the energy transition. It enables the generation of what we used to call base load power,” said Robert Habeck, Deputy Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein and Minister of Energy, Agriculture, the Envi-ronment and Rural Areas. “The ‘green link’ establishes a connection to the hydropower plant capacities in Norway and will be able to counteract congestions in the German transmission grid,” Habeck added.

“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 integration of the project into the Federal Requirements Plan Act provided a statutory basis for the necessity and the urgency of implementing the project for the energy market. The awarding of “Project of Common Interest” status by the European Union in accordance with the new guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure underlines the high economic and energy industry importance of the project at a European level.

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.”

The NordLink project will be realised by the Norwegian TSO Statnett and DC Nordseeka-bel GmbH & Co. KG, each with 50% ownership. TenneT TSO, and German promotional bank KfW both have shares of 50% in DC Nordseekabel. DC Nordseekabel is responsible for the construction of the German part of the project, including permits. NordLink is scheduled to be operational in 2020.

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