Green light for important electricity connection between Norway and Germany
Press Release from 2015-02-10 / KfW IPEX-Bank, Sustainability
- Partners TenneT, Statnett, and KfW sign cooperation agreement for joint investment
- Exchanging green energy: First direct connection between the German and Norwegian electricity markets
- The 623 km HVDC link, of which 516 km is subsea cable, will contribute to a more efficient and climate friendly energy system, more renewable energy in both countries and increase security of supply
- This interconnector of 1.400 megawatts capacity between Germany and Norway is a cornerstone for the German energy transition
By signing the ownership agreement today, partners TenneT, Statnett, and KfW, which is represented by KfW IPEX-Bank, have made the final investment decision for the project. Construction of the system will start as soon as the contracts are signed with the contractors responsible for the production and installation of the cable and converter stations.
‘This is again a major step towards a more integrated European energy market, and an important contribution to the German energy transition. With this interconnector we can exchange energy between two complementary energy systems, with Germany's increasing production of wind power and solar power on one side, and Norway's production from hydropower on the other’, said Mel Kroon, CEO of TenneT Holding.
‘The NordLink interconnector is one of the major projects in the European energy sector, and will have a large impact on the European energy system. The financing of this project together with our partners is a cornerstone for the turnaround in the German energy market and an important project for KfW. We are proud to be part of it’, said Markus Scheer, member of the Management Board of KfW IPEX-Bank.
'The signing today is a very important step for all three partners. The interconnector will contribute to a climate friendly and efficient energy system for the future. It will increase security of the power supply for consumers and create value for producers on both sides of the interconnector. The Nordlink investment decision underlines our conviction that the future is electric’, said Statnett's CEO, Auke Lont.
“Saving” wind energy
Connecting Norwegian hydropower to German wind energy will be beneficial for both countries. When for instance a surplus of wind energy is produced in Germany, it can be exported to Norway via NordLink. The water reservoirs in Norway will then function as natural storage for wind energy by retaining the water in the reservoirs. Likewise, Germany can import the renewable Norwegian hydropower when demand is high.
Benefits for consumers and the economy
An important part of the socio-economic benefit of the NordLink cable is generated by revenues from the tradable transmission capacity of the cable. These revenues are used to finance other grid projects or to lower tariffs. German consumers can benefit from lower energy prices: if the prices in Germany are high because solar panels and wind turbines produce little electricity, cheaper hydropower can be imported from Norway via NordLink. The power cable is creating a connection to the hydroelectric power station capacities in Norway and to wind installations in Germany. The Norwegian water reservoirs are to serve as energy storage. They can come into play during peak consumption periods in Germany when the power can then be transported to Germany. Consumers will profit from the positive effect on power prices due to the import of cheap hydroelectric power. The NorNed cable between the Netherlands and Norway established in 2008 works in the same manner.
The NordLink project will be realised bya consortium comprising the Norwegian TSO Statnett and DC Nordseekabel GmbH & Co. KG, both of whom have a share of 50%. The German TSO TenneT and the German promotional bank KfW both have share of 50% in DC Nordseekabel. DC Nordseekabel is responsible for the construction of the German part of the project, including permits. The HVDC link will have a capacity of 1,400 megawatts (MW) and will run between Tonstad in Norway and Wilster in Schleswig-Holstein/Germany. The interconnector comprises an investment volume of approximately EUR 1.5 - 2 billion.
Key facts and figures
- High-voltage direct-current (HVDC) cable of 623 km
- Onshore: high-voltage overhead line (Vollesfjord – Tonstad/Norway) of 53 km
- Offshore: 516 km subsea cable
- Onshore: underground land cable (Büsum – Wilster/Germany) of 54 km
- Connection sites to the existing grid: converter stations in Wilster (Germany) and Tonstad (Norway)
TenneT is Europe’s first cross-border grid operator for electricity. With about 21,000 kilometres of (extra-) high voltage lines and 41 million end-users in the Netherlands and Germany, TenneT ranks among Europe’s top 5 grid operators in Europe. TenneT’s focus is to develop a North-west European energy market and to integrate renewable energy TenneT employs over 2,800 people. In 2013 TenneT had a turnover of EUR 2.24 billion. TenneT's assets totalled EUR 12.7 billion (half year results 2014). Taking power further.
Statnett is responsible for the development and operation of the Norwegian power grid, including interconnectors to several other European countries. Statnett employs more than 1,100 people and operates 11,000 kilometres of high voltages lines. In 2013 Statnett had a turnover of NOK 4.6 billion.
KfW is one of the world’s leading promotional banks. With its decades of experience, KfW is committed to improving economic, social and ecological living conditions across the globe on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany and the federal states. To do this, it provided funds totalling EUR 74.1 billion in 2014 alone; and of this, 36 % went into measures for protecting the environment and combating climate change. In Germany, the KfW Group is represented in Frankfurt, Berlin, Bonn and Cologne. Its network includes 80 offices and representations around the world.
Note for editorial staff: NordLink charts, press photos and broadcast TV footage (incl. German o-tone) from the signing are available on 10 February 2015 from 11:00/12:00 at no charge from the following download link: ftp://ftp.woldcam.no username: tennet password: avaldsnes