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Norway Sets Plans for Power Cables to UK, Germany

02 July 2012

Norway confirmed plans to lay the world's longest subsea power cable to Britain by 2020 as well as a link to Germany by 2018 to increase its hydropower exports, officials and power companies said on Thursday.

The links would enable Norway, which depends on hydropower generation, to export more power when prices are higher in Germany and the UK and import it when dry weather forces prices up at home, the energy ministry said.

They also would help the three countries ensure secure, stable power supplies as Europe increases renewable energy generation.

Norwegian transmission system operator Statnett said it had signed an agreement with the UK's National Grid to build a 700 km (435 miles) sub-sea cable with 1,400 megawatts (MW) capacity by 2020.

"When completed, it will be the world's longest subsea power cable," it added.

In a separate statement, Statnett confirmed plans to build a 1,400 MW link to Germany by 2018 in partnership with German system operator TenneT and German state-controlled bank KfW.

TenneT said the detailed agreement is to be signed in September this year, and the investment decision is due in 2014.
"The increase in interconnections would allow more stable power prices both in Norway and the Nordic market," said Ole Tom Djupskas, an analyst at Point Carbon, a market analysis company of Thomson Reuters.

Statnett said it planned to submit an application to the Norwegian government in the first half of 2013 for a license to build the link to Britain.