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Connections you can rely on

We’re building the world’s longest subsea power cable between the UK and Norway. This will bring greener and more secure electricity to both countries.

Stretching 720 kilometres under the North Sea, the €1.5-2bn North Sea Link (NSL) will be the first electricity interconnector between the UK and Norway.

It will allow both countries to trade energy, and contribute to more production of renewable energy on both sides. This will give them a wider spread of electricity supply to turn to when they need it. 

If the UK’s wind and solar supplies become low, we’ll be able to draw on Norway’s carbon free hydropower. And when Norway’s supplies are low, it can import electricity from the UK. 

NSL is a joint project between Statnett, the Norwegian transmission operator, and National Grid. Eventually the link will supply as much energy as a nuclear power station, enough for 750,000 homes.

UK and EU target

The UK already has four interconnectors with France, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In 2016 they accounted for more than 6% of the UK’s power demand. 

Interconnectors could also play a big part in helping the UK to meet its target of closing all its coal-fired power stations by 2025.

Meeting the challenge

Construction on NSL started in 2015, and work on the converter station in Norway is taking place in beautiful but rugged terrain. The converter site is located near a remote village deep in the fjords that’s home to Norway’s biggest hydropower station. 

Landing the cable in the fjord and preparing the site means blasting and drilling through granite. Given the potential for harsh winters, we have also taken steps to protect the site from avalanches. 

We’ll start work to prepare the converter site near Blyth on the North East coast next year.

Related information

Published: June 2017