In January, several years after the initial awarding of the contract, construction began on the NorNed project, a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission link connecting the power grids of Norway and the Netherlands. The 360-mile link will be the longest underwater high-voltage cable in the world-longer than the existing links between Italy and Greece; within the islands of the Philippines; and under Long Island Sound, connecting New York to Connecticut. The system will have a 600-megawatt (MW) rating, but (according to ABB, the company building the link) it will be able to continuously deliver 700 MW.

“NorNed is considered to be the benchmark for further cross-border interconnections in Europe,” said Peter Smits, head of ABB’S Power Technologies division. “It will bring Europe closer to its target of substantially increasing power exchange capacity between countries.”

Both state-owned power grid companies TenneT in the Netherlands and Statnett in Norway are party to the contract. The interconnection will lead to power trading between the two countries and increased reliability of electricity supply, says ABB.

The cable project will be completed in 2007 and extend from Feda in Vest-Agder, Norway, to Eemshaven in the Netherlands.

Copyright Edison Electric Institute May/Jun 2005

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