May 27: Official inauguration of nordlink

The official inauguration of the NordLink cable between Germany and Norway takes place on May 27. We had a chat with Project Director Market & Operations at Statnett, Bjørn Bakken, and Melanie Vasold, Senior Advisor Market Integration at TenneT, about this milestone in the German-Norwegian Energy cooperation.

Nordlink being operative marks a milestone in the German-Norwegian energy cooperation. What are the benefits for the German, Norwegian and European energy markets?

The NordLink subsea HVDC interconnector goes between the municipality of Sirdal in Norway and Wilster in Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. The interconnector has a capacity of 1400 MW and is 623 km long. The NordLink partners TenneT, KfW, and Statnett formally took over the subsea interconnector on 31st March2021, and the interconnector is now in normal commercial operation.

When the trial operation started on 9th December 2020, NordLink established the first direct connection between Norway and Germany.  This new interconnection generates socio-economic benefits across borders, helps to stabilize power prices, and improves market efficiency. By connecting the hydropower system in Norway and the German power system, where the shares of wind and solar energy continue to increase, the interconnector facilitates the integration of more renewable energy in both countries. Surplus wind energy can be transmitted from Germany to Norway and stored in hydro reservoirs. Similarly, surplus hydro generation can be exported from Norway to Germany when there is low wind generation. It will thus help to reduce CO2 emissions and reach climate goals.

Furthermore, the interconnector improves the security of supply in both Norway and Germany as demand and supply for electricity can be better matched (e.g. due to the increased import capacities to Norway during dry years or periods).

NordLink will contribute to a climate friendly future by enabling increased production and consumption of renewable energy both in Norway and in Germany.

Can you tell us a bit about the results of the testing so far? What are the effects on the energy systems, and what does this mean in the long run?

After the testing had been successfully completed, NordLink started trial operation on the 9th of December. Since then, the link capacity is offered to the day-ahead and intraday markets on a daily basis, subject to normal capacity calculation procedures. Up to the beginning of May, we have already exchanged around 1200 GWh from Norway to Germany and around 400 GWh from Germany to Norway.

Follow the official inaugoration on May 27, 11.45 AM CEST, here.