NorthConnect, the interconnector development company jointly owned by E-CO Energi, Agder Energi (AE), Lyse, Vattenfall and SSE Interconnector Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy plc), is delighted to announce that it has submitted an application to National Grid Transmission for an onshore connection to the mainland network for a 1,400MW electricity interconnector between Great Britain and Norway.
NorthConnect, a Norwegian registered company, was established in February 2011 by its 5 shareholders to examine the technical and economic viability of developing, building and operating an HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) interconnector, to be designed so that electricity can flow in both directions.
A landing point around Peterhead in north east Scotland, which will require an interconnector of around 570kms in length, has been identified and today NorthConnect has submitted an application to National Grid Transmission for a grid connection at Peterhead. This is the first step in a number of applications for consent to bring the interconnector ashore and construct an HVDC convertor station where it will be linked to the mainland network.
NorthConnect will assess the landingpoints in Norway in light of the the scope of work for the EIA from the Norwegian regulator.
When in operation, the interconnector will be the first to connect directly Scotland's electricity network to that of a mainland European country.
NorthConnect will contribute to enhanced security of energy supply in both the Nordic market area and UK, and it will contribute to more stable energy prices for consumers and facilitate the development of renewable generation in both regions.
From a European view, NorthConnect will make an important contribution towards developing the internal European market for electricity, with increased competition between regions in Northern Europe, and a cost-efficient realization of the targets for reduced green house gas emissions and renewable energy in Europe.
NorthConnect has recognized the importance of the communication from the European Commission with respect to "Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond." and states that its planned project should have a possibility to be pointed out as a "Project of European Interest".
The North European region is rich in resources of low carbon electricity generation. In a near future with huge new volumes of renewable electricity being produced by new wind farms in Scotland and the rest of UK, both on-shore and off-shore, and the introduction of tradable green certificates driving development of new renewables in Sweden and Norway, an interconnector provides a valuable link that may level out variations in output from wind power and from hydro power.
In addition to such an interconnector having a clear business justification, the planned interconnector enables the realisation of, (and use of) low cost carbon potential, and supports the long term development of the electricity market.
Odd Øygarden, Chairman of the Board of NorthConnect, commented:
"NorthConnect is delighted to have submitted this grid application to Great Britain's National Grid Transmission. This marks a further milestone in the progress of developing this interconnector.
"We are sure that there is a real requirement to more closely link the electricity markets of Scandinavia and Great Britain together as this will bring benefits in terms of security of supply, deployment of additional renewable generation and more efficient generation in both regions.
"The NorthConnect interconnector will play an important role in delivering these important benefits."