November 14, 2012
Norway, Sweden

Sweden-Norway power link project under review by partners

By Torsten Fagerholm | 2012-11-14 |

Svenska Kraftnat and Statnett SF, grid operators in Sweden and Norway, are reviewing the need for an oft-delayed 1,400-megawatt power cable that was planned to boost connections between Oslo and Stockholm.

The cable, proposed in 2008, was originally due to be brought into service as early as 2012. It has since suffered several delays, with the project now up for review by both companies.

“The cable was until recently planned for 2019 although Statnett have now said they’d like an unspecified delay, prompting us in turn to set a completion time frame of 2018 to 2022,” Mikael Odenberg, director general of Svenska Kraftnaet, said today by e-mail.

The southern part of the Nordic power grid between Sweden and Norway is prone to disruptions and frequent transmission bottlenecks. The Sydvaestlaenken project, or South West Link, is intended to boost transmission capacity and smooth out power prices while paving the way for increased wind power output, according to the grid companies.

Existing connections are generally used to ship out cheap hydropower from Norway to neighboring countries, and their operation affects electricity prices in the region, which gets more than half of its power from running water through turbines.

“We are trying to establish a mutual understanding for joint solutions which benefit both countries, and need to review things,” Statnett’s Executive Vice President Gunnar G. Loevas said by e-mail today. A revised view on the project may be presented “within the course of a few months,” he said, declining to comment further.

Statnett is part of a group that plans to build a 1,400- megawatt undersea cable, dubbed NorGer, from Germany to Norway by 2018, followed by a 1,400-megawatt link to the U.K. in 2020.

These plans, which could be more profitable for Norway than the South West Link, may have caused the company’s interest in boosting grids toward Sweden to wane, Odenberg said on Nov. 7 at a conference in Stockholm.

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