“Energy transition flagship project”

One of the world's longest submarine cables is now linking the power grids of Germany and Norway for the first time.

„Leuchtturmprojekt der Energiewende“

Hamburg/Wilster (dpa) - The small town of Wilster in Schleswig-Holstein and the Norwegian village of Tonstad rarely find themselves in the limelight. For the energy transition in Europe, however, they are something like hotspots: “Nordlink”, one of the world's longest submarine cables, runs between the two towns. For the first time, it is linking the power grids of Germany and Norway. The grid operator Tennet has called it an “energy transition flagship project”, while the German promotional bank KfW has described it as a “technologically unique project”. On Thursday, the “electricity highway”, which cost around two billion euros, will be officially opened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Norway is interesting for Germany because it generates its electricity almost exclusively from hydropower. This offers Germany an additional option for obtaining “green electricity”. In return, wind power can be “parked” in Norway instead of shutting down wind turbines when they produce too much electricity. “If a surplus of wind power is generated in Germany, for example, it can be transferred to Norway via ‘NordLink’”, is how grid operator Tennet explains the principle. “The water reservoirs in Norway then serve as ‘natural storage’ for the wind energy by keeping the water in the reservoirs.”

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