NordLink officially inaugurated

28 May 2021

German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel and Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg have officially commissioned NordLink – the ‘green cable’ that will exchange German wind energy with Norwegian hydropower and connect two optimally complementary systems. 

The inauguration event, which was held virtually, was also attended by Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, Schleswig-Holstein’s Minister President Daniel Günther and its Energy Minister Jan Philipp Albrecht, as well as Norway’s Energy Minister Tina Bru. The event was hosted by top executives from the NordLink project partners: TenneT’s CEO and COO Manon van Beek and Tim Meyerjürgens, Statnett’s CEO Hilde Tonne as well as Markus Scheer, Management Board member of the KfW IPEX-Bank.  

“Today and with NordLink, Germany and Norway are moving even closer together,” said Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. “The first direct electricity bridge not only helps to stabilise 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, addedd: NordLink will be of great benefit to both Germany and Norway. It will contribute to a 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.

NordLink is a direct current highway without a downhill exit, i.e. a point-to-point connection, between the AC grids in Germany and Norway. Due to the length of the route and the large transmission capacity, direct current is used for low-loss transmission. The two cables (positive and negative pole) are connected to converter stations at each end. The converter stations were built in Wilster (Schleswig-Holstein) and Tonstad (southern Norway). At these sites, electricity is converted from DC to AC (or vice versa, depending on the direction of transmission) and fed into the German and Norwegian AC transmission grids, respectively, to supply green electricity to households and businesses.

The NordLink project was realised by a consortium in which the Norwegian transmission system operator Statnett and DC Nordseekabel GmbH & Co.KG each hold 50 percent. The transmission system operator TenneT and KfW each hold 50 percent of the shares in DC Nordseekabel. DC Nordseekabel is responsible for construction and permitting on the German side.

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