OREANDA-NEWS. June 26, 2012. Statnett and National Grid have signed an agreement to confirm their plans to develop an electricity interconnector between Norway and the UK with a goal to have it operational by 2020. The North Sea Network (NSN) project is a key to further development of the North-European power grid, and of high priority to the companies.

Following three years of joint feasibility and development work, Statnett and National Grid International have signed an agreement to confirm their intention to continue work to facilitate an investment decision for the construction of a submarine interconnector between Norway and the UK. The two parties are currently performing a joint seabed survey along the planned route and will now focus on obtaining the necessary regulatory and environmental agreements and concessions as well as preparing for the procurement of some 700 km of cable and two converter stations. A key milestone will be the submittal of the Norwegian Trade Concession Application to the Norwegian Ministry in the first half of 2013.

The interconnector will contribute to further integration of the North-European power markets and strengthen the North-European power grid, hence buoying the ambitions for increased renewable energy production in the whole region and thereby supporting the EU's 2020 goals. The interconnector is a cornerstone in the network development plans for the countries surrounding the North Sea basin, and of high priority to the companies.

The interconnector between the UK and Norway, with a planned capacity of up to 1,400 MW, is expected to be complete by 2020. When completed, it will be the world's longest subsea power cable.

Steve Holliday, Chief Executive of National Grid said

“This is a huge and innovative project - it will use state of the art technology to create the longest interconnector in the world and would link Norway's flexible, clean hydro power into the UK market to strengthen energy supplies for both countries. This link will help deliver secure, affordable power to consumers as Europe moves towards using more and more renewable energy. ”

"Today’s announcement is an important milestone and underlines that the partnership is ready to move ahead towards an investment decision and subsequent realisation of the project” says Auke Lont, CEO of Statnett. ."The interconnector between the UK and Norway will mark a substantial technological achievement, and the agreement provides a strong signal that our companies remain committed to deliver on common ambitions for a North-European power network. I am looking forward to moving this project forward together with National Grid".