Technician in a NordLink converter station
Photo: Axel Heimken / dpa
It is a bit as if Germany's wind and solar parks are now being connected to a very large (and very distant) battery: The NordLink undersea cable, which connects Germany's electricity network with Norway and, above all, Norway's large reservoirs, has several months Continuous trial phase has been successfully completed and normal operation now begins.
The line to the far north is considered a beacon project for the energy transition.
The power connection is intended to help ensure security of supply in Germany, even if renewable energy sources, wind power and solar energy, can fluctuate significantly.
The phenomenon in question is called »dark doldrums«: a combination of little wind and at the same time little solar radiation.
In future, in such locations, electricity will flow to Germany via NordLink, which is generated in Norway's hydropower plants and could thus compensate for the "dark doldrums".
The dimensions of the project are impressive: the cable runs 516 kilometers on the sea floor between the substations Wilster in Schleswig-Holstein and Tonstad in Norway, and the line measures 623 kilometers in total.
The construction costs were given at around two billion euros.
Up to 1,400 megawatts of electricity can flow through the line.
This roughly corresponds to the output of the currently largest German nuclear power plant, Isar 2.
NordLink is a "green cable" to exchange German wind energy with Norwegian hydropower, announced the three project partners, the transmission system operator Tennet and KfW from Germany and Statnett from Norway.
NordLink's trial operation started in December 2020, making the cable connection between Norway and Germany available to the electricity market for the first time.
The construction work for it began in 2016.