The NorthConnect interconnector will have a capacity of 1400MW, will be approximately 655km in length and is intended to facilitate the trading of energy with Norway, UK, and continental Europe. The interconnector will be routed from Simadalen in Norway, across the North Sea to Long Haven Bay, just south of Peterhead in Scotland.
 

 

The exact route that the cables will take across the North Sea to Simadalen in Norway has yet to be determined.  The final cable route design will take into account input from stakeholders and results of a detailed subsea survey.

The HVDC  subsea cables are used to lower transmission losses along the link. The National Grid systems use Alternating Current (AC) technology. Interconnector converter stations are therefore required at each end of the HVDC cable to convert the DC (Direct Current) electricity to AC and vice versa to allow connection to substations on the National Grid.

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The underground cables will come ashore at Long Haven Bay, and connect to a converter station at Fourfields near Boddam, Peterhead, where the electricity will be converted from High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) to High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC). An HVAC cable will connect the converter station to the National Grid network at Peterhead substation. Similar infrastructure is proposed at the Norwegian landfall at Sima at the end of Hardangerfjord, with a converter station in Simadalen.

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Project Need

Norwegian electricity is primarily from hydro-electric sources, while Scotland and the UK have an increasing proportion of wind power in their energy mix.

NorthConnect will connect the two complementary and previously disconnected power systems of Scotland and Norway, helping both nations to balance the grid between the two countries, and allowing wider trading across Europe.  This will ensure security of supply and stabilise electricity prices for consumers.

The European Union has set a target for 20% of Europe’s energy requirements being met by renewable resources by 2020.  The Scottish Government goes further and aims to exceed this target by supplying 100% of Scottish demand from renewable sources by the same date.

In parallel with this, there is emerging international cooperation in the European energy sector and the clear political goal of linking together the European power systems.  NorthConnect will connect the two complementary and previously disconnected power systems of the UK and Norway, helping both to balance the grid between the two countries and allowing wider trading across Europe. This will ensure security of supply and stabilise electricity prices for consumers.

 

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Project of Common Interest

The NorthConnect scheme was, in 2013, designated as a “Project of Common Interest” or PCI, within the legal framework of the European Union and European Economic Area, of which Norway is also a signatory state.                       

This means that NorthConnect is seen as a very important project for achieving Europe’s energy market and climate change targets. NorthConnect is on the 1st and 2nd Union-Wide lists for PCI's, and is currently in the assessment process for the 3rd running throughout 2017.

In February 2017 it was annouced that the NorthConnect PCI is eligible to receive development funding from the EU. More information in a press release here.

Details of the public consultation being undertaken in the UK can be found here, and details of the Norwegian public consultation can be found here.