NorthConnect is a power connection between Scotland and Norway to enable the exchange of renewable wind and hydro power.
We want to build NorthConnect to facilitate more renewable energy production and to ensure that surplus power from Scotland is able to be used, rather than switched off.
In Norway there is a large and increasing power surplus. The greatest surplus is the power surplus in the region that the NorthConnect connection is planned to be laid in Hordaland. In this power region, twice as much power is produced as it is consumed. In Scotland, there is a growing supply of wind power. Storage of this power is slowly developing, but currently, when there is insufficient wind, the power market in Scotland needs the supply of other energy that can be quickly turned on and off. Hydropower has this ability. Hydropower can be stored - and it can be turned on and off quickly. When it is not windy on the Scottish side, NorthConnect can provide the supply of Norwegian hydropower. When it is very windy, Norway can buy cheaper wind power from Scotland and save hydropower for the price and demand increases. In this way, both Norway and Scotland are guaranteed stable, cheap and renewable power.
NorthConnect will also contribute to a cleaner environment. NorthConnect will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two million tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to emissions from about one million passenger cars.
In addition, NorthConnect will help ensure our lights stay on - in the event of a 'black start' situation, NorthConnect can instantly react to bring power from Norway.
You and I as energy consumers, and the climate. NorthConnect will help keep our power prices stable and lower than they would be without the introduction of this great asset.
The climate will also benefit from the construction of NorthConnect. The climate gain is great. The power generated on both sides of the North Sea will contribute to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
NorthConnect is currently a joint venure between four publicly owned Scandinavian companies: Lyse, Agder Energi, Hafslund E-Co and Vattenfall. The four power companies are owned by 47 municipalities in Southern Rogaland and in Agder, and by the municipality of Oslo. In addition, the Norwegian and Swedish States have ownership interests through Agder Energi (indirectly via Statkraft) and Vattenfall, respectively.
In passing the 3rd Energy Package into law last year, the Norwegian Parliament also determined that Statnett should have a controlling interest in the operation of the Norwegian half of the interconnector. Discussions are ongoing as to how this may take place.
We've done thorough reviews to find the best connection point and looked at lots of landing places along the North Sea coast, including Blyth in Northumberland and Cockenzie in East Lothian. Long Haven Bay at Peterhead was the optimum point because it had space to house the converter station, already has a large power plant with suitable supporting infrastructure and, at 665km, Peterhead was also the closest point to the Norwegian landing point at Simadalen. Connecting NorthConnect here means the load in the transmission network is reduced and large network investments can be avoided and transmission losses reduced.
During construction, the local area around the site just south of Peterhead will benefit significantly from the contractors working on the project - accommodation, food, taxi's, cleaning services etc will all be required. NorthConnect has also been working hard to promote local businesses to the main 'Tier 1' contractors who are bidding to build the project, and we are keen to hear from all local businesses who may be able to assist the project (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
We hope that the inconvenience of bringing large components to site will be minimal and by retaining all of the earthworks excavated to create bunding around the converter station, disruption on the roads will be limited.
NorthConnect is already benefiting local organisations in the area through its Legacy Fund and more information can be found here https://www.foundationscotland...
The expected investment cost is currently estimated at approx. EUR 1.7 billion. However, we are still some way off knowing the real cost of the construction which will be clarified in due course, and prior to a final investment decision in 2020.
NorthConnect is financed by the owners of the company. The owners are four publicly owned power companies: Lyse, Agder Energi, ECO and Vattenfall. These publicly owned companies do this because they believe it is an excellent way to preserve the value of and get paid for their hydropower in the future energy market.
Ultimately, NorthConnect aims to increase the use of renewable energy in the UK, reducing carbon emissions but also helping keep the cost of energy to consumers as low as possible, whilst enabling security of supply. Whilst the outcomes of Brexit for the UK and European energy markets is yet to be seen, we hope and expect that the UK will stay very much open for business. NorthConnect, under a number of scenarios proposed by both sides of the Brexit debate will remain a sensible and viable project.
A recommendation from NVE, The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, following a thorough assessment is expected by the end of February 2019. This assessment and recommendation will then follow a similar process to that in the UK, with the Government making a final decision which is expected later in 2019.
The next element regarding permitting, is the granting of necessary permits and licenses in Norway. Then the actual implementation and development can commence. We assume that NorthConnect will be completed in 2023, depending on the available capacity of cable suppliers, however we have contingency built into the programme until 2024.
This has not been confirmed as yet. Invitations to Tender have been issued for the Tier 1 contractors relating to the cable and the converter stations which will be negotiated during 2019. The procurement process for the enabling works at the Fourfields site will begin in the summer of 2019. NorthConnect has been engaging with the supply chain for some time, and is always keen to hear from companies and organisations who may be able to assist.
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No. NorthConnect only makes the cable available to the market and does not decide how to use it. It is the market that does, through supply and demand on each side of the cable, which in turn controls the power flow.