Step Towards Scotland-Norway Interconnector Hailed

28 September 2011
Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the European Parliament and former member of the Parliament's Energy Committee has today (Wednesday) hailed a big step forward in the project to develop an energy interconnector between Scotland and Norway.
NorthConnect, the interconnector development company, has submitted an application to National Grid Transmission for a 1,400MW electricity interconnector which will link Norway to Peterhead.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Alyn said:

"This is another feather in Scotland's renewable energy cap. The NorthConnect interconnector, which could be operational before 2020, has the potential to play a key role in connecting Scotland's electricity system to mainland Europe. They need energy, we have it in abundance. An interconnector will allow for greater integration of European power markets, thus enhancing security of supply, and enable increased penetration of renewable generation into the system.

"This interconnector will support the renewable energy ambitions of the Scottish Government, as well as those of the EU as a whole."

NorthConnect, a Norwegian registered company, was established in February 2011 by its five shareholders and is jointly owned by three Norwegian companies and SSE Interconnector Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SSE plc (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy plc).

NorthConnect was set up to examine the technical and economic viability of developing, building and operating Europe’s first HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) interconnector between Peterhead and Scandinavia. The interconnector will facilitate the export of surplus renewable power from Scotland to be used or stored in Scandinavia, allowing the extensive hydro electric schemes to reserve electricity production. In reverse, when renewable energy production is low in Scotland, this could be compensated by importing from these same hydro electric schemes.

An application to the EU Trans European Networks Energy fund has been submitted to support the next technical and financial pre-feasibility phase of the NorthConnect interconnector. Support is being sought to secure the project’s position as a project of major European significance, which would facilitate access to the large scale capital investment required to realise the ambition.