"The Scottish Government is a strong supporter of NorthConnect," Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in a speech at the NHO's annual conference in Oslo on Wednesday morning.
In particular, Sturgeon emphasised that Scotland and Norway have good opportunities to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stated that NorthConnect will help both Scotland and Norway cut emissions, as well as strengthening security of supply.
"NorthConnect would enable surplus electricity from Scottish windfarms to be transferred to Norway and Scandinavia, if necessary. And on days where the wind doesn’t blow, it would enable electricity from Norway’s hydro-electric schemes to meet some of Scotland’s electricity needs," Sturgeon said.
She added: "I hope that it can go ahead."
Earlier in the day, the First Minister met with a small selection of Norwegian business leaders for a round table conference. NorthConnect was represented by CEO, Steffen Syvertsen of Agder Energi, and CEO Finn Bjørn Ruyter of Hafslund E-CCO.
"It was a very constructive meeting where we discussed how Norway and Scotland can work together to cut greenhouse gas emissions to the common good. And then of course it was very gratifying that the Scottish First Minister so clearly expressed the need for NorthConnect", said Ruyter.
Ruyter says that Scotland has built up a lot of wind power in recent years, and that they now have a renewable share of 75 per cent. During periods of high winds, transmission capacity south to England is limited so they have to constrain production. In periods of low wind, more flexibility is needed.
Ruyter added: "With NorthConnect, Norway will be able to benefit from reasonable power in surplus periods and deliver adjustable power during periods of high demand in Scotland."