European electricity transmission system operators TenneT, Statnett, and development bank KfW have broken ground to mark the start of construction of German converter station for the proposed 1.4GW Germany-Norway NordLink project.

The project aims to transmit renewable energy between Germany and Norway through a high-capacity subsea power cable while contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions.

TenneT executive board member Lex Hartman said: “NordLink connects two perfectly complementary systems for the exchange of renewable energy: German wind and solar power, on the one side, and Norwegian hydropower, on the other.”

The 623km-long green link interconnector is designed to improve the security of supply while stabilizing energy prices in the two countries.

Valued at approximately €1.5-2bn, the NordLink project will run between Tonstad in Norway and Wilster in Schleswig-Holstein/Germany.

Schleswig-Holstein Deputy Minister-President and Minister of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Areas Robert Habeck said: “NordLink is an important building block for the future of the energy transition. It enables the generation of what we used to call base load power.

“The ‘green link’ establishes a connection to the hydropower plant capacities in Norway and will be able to counteract congestions in the German transmission grid.”

Planned to be commissioned in 2020, the NordLink HDVC link is being developed by a 50-50 consortium of Norwegian utility Statnett and DC Nordseekabel.

DC Nordseekabel is a joint venture of TenneT and promotional bank KfW.

Statnett executive vice-president Håkon Borgen said: “When there is a surplus of hydropower in Norway, we can export this to Germany and create value.

“When there is a demand for more power, especially during dry and cold seasons, Norwegian consumers will profit because we can import German wind and solar power for a reasonable price.”

Image: The new NordLink HDVC link is expected to stabilize energy prices in Norway and Germany. Photo: courtesy of Statnett.