By jointly pressing a “digital button,” German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg commissioned NordLink on May 27.
The “green cable” will exchange German wind energy with Norwegian hydropower and connect two optimally complementary systems, according to transmission system operator TenneT. “NordLink is a lighthouse project and an enormously important component of the European energy transition in order to compensate for dark doldrums and at the same time make green energy available in the EU in a safe and affordable way,” TenneT said.
NordLink is a direct current point-to-point connection between the AC grids in Germany and Norway. Due to the length of the route (more than 620 km) and the large transmission capacity, direct current is used for low-loss transmission. The two cables are connected to converter stations at each end, in Wilster (Schleswig-Holstein) and Tonstad (southern Norway). At these sites, electricity is converted from DC to AC (or vice versa, depending on the direction of transmission) and fed into the German and Norwegian AC transmission grids, respectively, to supply green electricity to households and businesses.
“With NordLink, Germany and Norway are moving even closer together. The first direct electricity bridge not only helps to stabilize energy prices in both countries. NordLink is a milestone for sustainable energy supply and climate protection in Europe because the focus is on exchanging renewable energy,” Merkel said.
Solberg said: “NordLink will be of great benefit to both Germany and Norway. It will contribute to a more efficient use of power resources and lay the foundations for further investments in renewable production. It will also contribute to our joint efforts in lowering emissions. As Germany is phasing out coal power, NordLink will ease the transition from fossil to renewable power production. At the same time, it will provide access to energy when Norway needs it.”
The NordLink project was realized by a consortium in which the Norwegian transmission system operator Statnett and DC Nordseekabel GmbH & Co.KG each hold 50%. TenneT and KfW each hold 50% of the shares in DC Nordseekabel, which is responsible for construction and permitting on the German side.