Germany and Norway Inaugurate 623-km HVDC Submarine Cable to Exchange Renewable Energy

Known as NordLink, the submarine energy cable has been functional since last month and has been transmitting solar, wind power from Germany in exchange for hydroelectric power from Norway

Germany and Norway announced the successful completion of an ambitious project to connect the two countries via a submarine cable to exchange renewable energy. Called NordLink, it is currently one of the longest submarine cables in the world: it starts at Tonstad, a town in southern Norway and terminates at Wilster in northern Germany, covering a distance of 623 kilometres. NordLink will facilitate the exchange of wind and solar energy from Germany with hydroelectric power from Norway. This will also help the two countries strengthen the reliability of renewable energy and overcome gaps in supply caused due to varying levels of sunshine, wind and rain.

NordLink is the first direct power connection between Germany and Norway. The high-voltage DC link enables the exchange of 1,400 megawatts. NordLink has been implemented as a high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission between Germany and Norway, with 516 of 623 kilometres have been installed as submarine cables. Due to its length, direct current is being used to transmit the electricity through both cables, which are connected to converter stations at each end.

The NordLink project was implemented by the Norwegian TSO Statnett and DC Nordseekabel GmbH & Co. KG, each with 50% ownership. TenneT and KfW IPEX-Bank each have a 50% share in DC Nordseekabel. DC Nordseekabel was responsible for the construction and approvals on the German part of the project.
Although NordLink has been operating since last month, the project was officially inaugurated this week by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg. The energy cable link has the capacity to power up to 3.6 million German homes.

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “Today with NordLink, Germany and Norway are moving even closer together. The first direct electricity bridge not only helps to stabilize energy prices in both countries. NordLink is a milestone for sustainable energy supply and climate protection in Europe. Because the focus is on exchanging renewable energy.”

Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg said: “NordLink will be of great benefit to both Germany and Norway. It will contribute to more efficient use of power resources and lay the foundations for further investments in renewable production. It will also contribute to our joint efforts in lowering emissions. As Germany is phasing out coal power, NordLink will ease the transition from fossil to renewable power production. At the same time, it will provide access to energy when Norway needs it.”

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