The exchange of power enabled by NordLink will increase security of supply for the German and Norwegian grid and will allow exchange of renewable energies, especially hydro power and wind power, between both countries.
NordLink is the first interconnector that directly connects Norwegian and German energy markets. This supports the integration of the Northwest European energy market, improves market efficiency and stabilises power prices.
NordLink is a cornerstone of the realisation of the energy transition (Energiewende) in Germany. The project has been incorporated into Germany’s federal national plan law, and implementation of the project has therefore become a statutory requirement. The status “Project of Common Interest (PCI)” awarded by the European Union in accordance with the new guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure underlines the project’s great importance at a European level in socio-economic and energy market terms. The interconnector connects up the capacity of the hydroelectric power stations in Norway, and it will help to prevent bottlenecks in the German transmission grid.
Interconnectors improve security of supply under the changing dynamics of energy markets in Europe. By connecting hydro power to wind generation, NordLink will enable TenneT and Statnett to better match demand for and supply of electricity. When there is a surplus of electricity from renewable energy sources in Germany, this can be exported to Norway via NordLink. In those times the water reservoirs in Norway can work as a natural storage for energy by keeping the water in the reservoir. Vice versa Germany can import Norwegian renewable energy in times of high demand. During dry and cold seasons in Norway the connection to Germany via NordLink will increase security of supply.
NordLink will be a 1400 MW bi-pole, high voltage, direct current (HVDC) interconnector comprising a pair of high voltage electricity cables. Due to the distance involved (623 km), direct current (DC) electricity is used to transmit power through the cables which connect the converter stations at each end. Direct current (DC) is particularly favourable when transferring electricity via long distances to minimise transmission loss. At the converter stations, which are to be built at Wilster in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein and at Tonstad in Norway, the electricity will be converted back into alternating current (AC) and connected to the respective German or Norwegian transmission grids in order to supply electricity to homes and businesses.
Illustration: technical concept
The NordLink project is realised by a consortium comprising the Norwegian TSO Statnett and DC Nordseekabel GmbH & Co.KG, each with a 50 % share. TenneT and KfW each hold 50 % of the shares in DC Nordseekabel.