Norway MPE Postpones Decision on NorthConnect Project

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) has informed NorthConnect that the Ministry lacks sufficient information at this point to reach a decision on the license applications for a new interconnector for electricity.

NorthConnect is a proposed power cable connecting Norway and Scotland.

The Norwegian Water and Energy Directorate (NVE) has provided a comprehensive assessment of the applications from NorthConnect for the licenses required to establish a 1400 megawatt interconnector between Norway and Scotland.

NVE’s assessment has been subject to a public consultation, together with a report on conditions and price development in the power market in Norway and Northern Europe.

The effect of the interconnector on the Norwegian power system has been an important topic both in the assessment from the NVE and in the responses coming from the public consultation process.

The Energy Act shall ensure that energy is generated, converted, transmitted, traded, distributed and used rationally, and to the benefit of the society. This includes taking into consideration all public and private interests affected.

The Norwegian and Nordic power system is going through significant changes, at a rapid pace. Two new interconnectors, to the UK and Germany respectively, will be commissioned in the near future. At this point in time, we do not have sufficient information to reach a decision regarding NorthConnect in accordance with the stipulations of the Energy Act. First we need to get a better understanding of the effects of the operation of the two interconnectors currently under construction,” said Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru.

Power exchange with our neighboring countries is both beneficial and necessary. It contributes with value creation and jobs in Norway. In this picture, NorthConnect is an interesting project. However, with the changes we see in our power system today and in the coming years, we do not have sufficient knowledge to say whether the positive effects of the project outweighs the negative ones for public and private interests concerned. In other words, today’s decision is neither a yes or a no to the NorthConnect project, because we do not have sufficient information to make such a decision at this time,” added Tina Bru.