Photo: Courtesy: The North Sea Link

North Sea Link trial operations set for Friday launch

The 720-kilometer North Sea Link between Norway and Great Britain is set to begin transmitting power on Friday, 1 October.

The cable was completed in early June and on 18 June transmission between the two countries was tested for the first time.

The three-month test period is now over, and the interconnector is ready for a three-month trial period where the functionality will be verified and evaluated.

Trading on the connection project will start on 30 September, the day before trial operations kick off.

The interconnector is built for a transmission capacity of 1,400 MW. In order to ensure the operational security of the Norwegian power system, the trial operation will begin with a maximum capacity of 700 MW. The maximum rate of change of power flow, so-called ramping, is set at 300 MW per hour.

“The technical tests have been carried out as planned, and we are pleased to reach an important milestone for the North Sea Link project,” said Statnett’s executive vice president Gunnar Løvås. “Until now, it has been our need to test the interconnector that has determined the flow over the cable. From 1 October, the capacity will be available to the power market.”

Once operations start, the result of the power market auctions on both sides of the interconnector will determine how much and in which direction the power will flow.

“A period of trial operation is important to ensure long term safe operation of the interconnector. Power exchange between countries is an important prerequisite for a zero-emission energy system in the future. Renewable energy production varies between different areas and sources, and power exchange will be increasingly important to ensure continuous access to enough power,” Løvås said.

North Sea Link is owned by Statnett and the British National Grid. The link runs between the Suldal municipality in Norway and the Newcastle area in England.