It's 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 power grid with Norway and, above all, Norway's large reservoirs, has it for several months Continuous trial phase successfully completed and now begins regular operation.
The line to the far north is considered a beacon project for the energy transition. The power connection is intended to contribute to the security of supply in Germany to ensure, even if renewable energy sources, wind power and solar energy can fluctuate widely. 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 between the substations in Wilster in Schleswig-Holstein and Tonstad in Norway 516 kilometers on the sea floor, and the pipeline is even 623 kilometers long. The construction costs were given as a total of around two billion euros. Up to 1400 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.