Subsea electricity connection with Norway approved

Former Blyth Power Station site GV.'REF 2407140530
Former Blyth Power Station site GV.'REF 2407140530

Approval has been granted to lay the world’s longest sub-sea electricity cable between south east Northumberland and Norway.

The 730km cable ‘interconnector’ buried deep beneath the North Sea from Blyth would bring Norwegian hydro-power to the National Grid, while it is hoped renewable energy created from UK wind farms could be sent back to Norway.

In July it was revealed how a planning application for the cable was under consideration by both Northumberland County Council, which would consider the land-based application, and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), which would determine the subsea route.

The Norwegian government gave consent for the development in its waters in October, and now permission has now been granted by the MMO, in addition to permission previously given by the county council.

The high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cable will be the first of its kind between the two countries and will enable the cross-border trading of electricity.

Power may flow through the cable in either direction at different times, depending on the supply and demand in each country.

The cable will run from Hylen, in south west Norway, to a converter station in Blyth.

The route in UK waters is expected to be approximately 340km long and it will be buried at depths between one and two metres below the seabed.

The project, financed by the UK and Norwegian company Statnett, is a world first and would help the National Grid ‘top-up’ its supplies of electricity by buying hydro-electricity to meet demand.

The cable will be underground but it is proposed to have a substantial building housing the transformers near the old Blyth power station.