Landmark in Norway-Germany “green cable” project

Two cable laying vessels for NordLink cable. Credit: TenneT

A project to connect the German and Norwegian energy grids, NordLink, surpassed a key milestone after Dutch transmission system operator TenneT TSO completed construction of a challenging 623 km segment of undersea cable.

With the 516 km submarine section now almost complete, the development leaves the final cable sockets still to be installed, 53 km of Norwegian overhead power grid infrastructure, slated for completion in 2020, as well as a relocation of a 54 km underground cable section from the Busumer dike to the Wilster converter site.

The cable will be used to exchange Norwegian hydroelectric power with the German grid, while in return, Germany will supply Norway’s energy mix with wind – much of it from offshore sources — and solar power.

With a 98 % renewable energy share in Norway thanks to massive hydroelectric power capacity, experts believe Norway will be able to supply considerable surplus renewable energy to the European mainland from its nearly 1,000 hydroelectric plants, without building any new facilities.

The project is 50 % owned by Norwegian state-owned operator Statnett SF, with the remainder owned by TenneT and German bank KfW.