World’s longest subsea HVDC link opens

World’s longest subsea HVDC link opens

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The National Grid in the UK has switched on the world’s longest sub-sea HVDC cable

The North Sea Link (NSL) interconnector links the Nordic and UK with a 1.4GW capacity and at 720km is the longest subsea link in the world. It is also the first interconnection between the UK and Norway.

The interconnect uses HVDC Light technology from ABB Hitachi Power Grids, which designed, engineered and supplied two 525kVdc, 1,400-MW converter stations using the voltage sourced converter (VSC) technology, featuring several advanced capabilities to stabilize adjacent AC grids. The cables were supplied by Prysmian in Italy and Nexans in France.

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Prysmian produced 950 km of submarine and land cables for the UK and Norwegian North Sea sections at its Arco Felice factory in Naples and used its own cable laying vessel “Giulio Verne”. 

Nexans suppled the fjord, tunnel and lake sections, as well as the onshore connection in Norway, with 500km of HVDC cables produced at their Halden plant.

A converter station is located at each end of the 720km interconnector – one in Blyth, UK, and the other in Kvilldal, Norway.

The link will help evacuate power from the UK, when for instance, wind power generation is high there and electricity demand low, conserving water in Norway’s hydropower reservoirs. When demand is high in the UK and wind power generation is low, low-carbon energy can flow from Norway, helping to secure the UK’s electricity supply. The link will also facilitate power trading and electricity price arbitrage between the countries. 

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