The A-Nord (A-North) power cable link is a 300km-long high-voltage-direct-current (HVDC) subsea power transmission system to deliver wind power from the north to the south of Germany.
The A-Nord link forms the northern part of the Corridor A electricity transmission project in Germany to transport wind power from the north of Lower Saxony to North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg. Ultranet, the southern part of the Corridor A project, will stretch for approximately 340km to connect North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg.
The A-Nord will be a 525kV DC underground cable system capable of transmitting up to 2GW of renewable electricity from the north of Lower Saxony to North Rhine-Westphalia, which will be enough to power approximately two million people.
German grid operator Amprion, a shareholder of TSCNET Services, is implementing the A-Nord project with an estimated investment of approximately £880m ($1.1bn).
The construction works on the project are expected to be started in 2023 and completed by the end of 2025.
A-Nord HVDC project background
The German transmission system operator (TSO) Amprion decided to establish an HVDC transmission link between Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia in October 2016.
The proposed corridor A-Nord HVDC cable route through Ruhr area and West Munsterland region along with a network connection point at Osterath near Dusseldorf with Ultranet, the southern part of Corridor A transition project, was announced in July 2017.
Amprion commenced the preliminary work of test drilling for soil investigation in August 2019. The documents for federal sector planning for the A-Nord transmission link were submitted in March 2020.
A-Nord project route details
The A-Nord HVDC underground power cable corridor will run from the port city of Emden at the Dollart Bay in Lower Saxony to Osterath in the Lower Rhine region of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.
A-Nord HVDC cable design and technology
Italian company Prysmian will supply a 1GW underground copper cable system of the A-Nord line. The cables will be insulated with Prysmian’s recyclable, environmental-friendly P-Laser technology, which utilises the high-performance thermoplastic elastomer (HPTE) for enhanced thermal performance.
The cables supplied by Prysmian will also feature a separate insulated metallic return cable.
The project will also be equipped with Prysmian’s integrated PRY-CAM monitoring system for monitoring, operation, and operation verification of the cable system.
Japanese Sumitomo Electric Industries will supply another portion of the A-Nord underground cable connection with HVDC XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) insulated cables, which are designed to allow high operating temperature.
A-Nord HVDC power transmission infrastructure
The A-Nord HVDC transmission line project will include two network connection points at Emden Ost and Osterath. The interconnectors at the network points will convert direct current (DC) to alternate current (AC).
The current power grid will be modified with the replacement of old lines with new power transmission lines for the transfer of more wind power to the western and southern parts of Germany.
Prysmian Powerlink was awarded a contract worth approximately £437m ($542m) for the design, manufacture, supply, and commissioning of 1GW of an underground cable system for the A-Nord HVDC project in May 2020.
Sumitomo Electric Industries was awarded a similar contract by Amprion for another portion of the underground HVDC cable system. Sumitomo will provide assembly, engineering, and project services, together with its technology partner Südkabel.
In February 2018, Amprion appointed Sweco as the main coordinator for planning, documentation, and approval of the A-Nord project.
Klasmann-Deilmann Group and Amprion entered a selective co-operation agreement for the expansion and modification of the power grid to facilitate power transmission from the A-Nord HVDC project in June 2019.