It could be the answer to improving green energy supply to the UK - a unique project is going to link Blyth in Northumberland to the fjords of Kvilldal in Norway, meaning the two countries will share carbon-free electricity, generated entirely from wind and water power.
- Our Industrial Correspondent Rachel Bullock was one of the first journalists to be granted access to the site in Kvildal. Watch her report here:
- The North Sea link is made up of two 450 mile cables
- The cables are buried 600 metres beneath the sea
- The cables are 6in (15cm) wide
- And will be able to transmit 1,400 megawatts of electricity
- It's the longest subsea interconnector in the world
- Construction will be completed in 2021
- It helps towards the UK Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050
The £1.8 billion collaboration between National Grid and Statnett will also allow extra power from British renewables to be "stored" in Norway's vast Blasjo reservoir, known as Europe's green battery.
The reservoir, constructed with a series of dams high up in mountains capped with snow and lakes, stores water from rainfall and snowmelt as part of a vast hydropower network with a 770 square mile (2,000 sq km) catchment.
As more offshore wind farms are built in the UK, there will be times the British grid has more renewable power than it needs, and it will be able to transmit electricity to power homes in Norway.
Following a recent visit to National Grid’s North Sea Link interconnector in Norway, Gareth Redmond-King, Head of Climate Change for WWF UK, said:
- Why connect Norway and the UK?
North Sea Link will connect the Nordic and British markets directly for the first time, providing significant benefits for both countries.
- What is an interconnector?
An interconnector is a connection between the electricity transmission systems of different countries. For North Sea Link the connection will be made via subsea cables.
An interconnector allows countries to trade power, helping to ensure safe, secure and affordable energy supplies.
- What are converter stations and substations?
A converter station converts electricity between Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). AC is used in each country’s transmission system, while DC is used for sending electricity long distances along the subsea cables.
A substation is a point of connection to an electricity network, changing the voltage of electricity so that it can be delivered to consumers via a distribution network.