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World’s longest under-sea power cable begins bringing hydropower from Norway to UK

At full capacity the under-sea interconnector can provide enough electricity to power 1.4 million homes

Thomas Kingsley
Sunday 03 October 2021 16:42 BST
<p>The interconnector links Blyth, Northumberland, to Norway through the North Sea </p>

The interconnector links Blyth, Northumberland, to Norway through the North Sea

The world’s longest under-sea power cable, bringing hydropower from Norway to the UK, has been switched on.

The project, known as the North Sea Link, will provide enough energy to power 1.4 million UK homes through the 1,400 megawatts of electricity shared across the interconnector.

North Sea Link, spanning 450 miles, is a joint venture between the two nations, connecting the UK to Norway’s power operator, Stattnet. The project cost £1.4 billion and six years to complete.

The interconnector links Blyth in Northumberland and Kvilldal in Suldal on Norway’s west coast.

Much of Norway’s energy is sourced from clean hydroelectricity the North Sea Link was been billed as a step towards the UK’s of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

According to National Grid, North Sea Link will help reduce the burning of fossil fuels in the UK and avoid 23 million tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030. It also said that by 2030, 90 per cent of electricity imported via National Grid’s interconnectors will be from zero carbon sources.

Cordi O’Hara, president of National Grid Ventures, said: “This is an exciting day for National Grid and an important step as we look to diversify and decarbonise the UK’s electricity supply. North Sea Link is a truly remarkable feat of engineering. We had to go through mountains, fjords and across the North Sea to make this happen.”

North Sea Link is the UK’s fifth interconnector, with existing links already connecting Britain to energy from Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

Hilde Tonne, chief executive of Statnett said the sharing of clean energy between nations is essential in achieving a net zero future.

“North Sea Link brings the power systems on both sides of the North Sea closer to the future,” she said.

UK Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said the project has strengthened the UK’s bond with Norway.

“As we prepare to host the UN COP26 summit, this pioneering partnership shows first-hand how crucial international cooperation will be in helping us to deliver on our net zero ambitions and provide clean renewable energy to millions of UK homes.”

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