The Anonymous Widower

Has The NorthConnect Interconnector Been Binned?

If you type “NorthConnect interconnector” into Google and select News, the latest stories are from March 2020.

One story from that date is this article on Energy Live News, which is entitled Norway Postpones Decision On Interconnector To Scotland.

These are the first three paragraphs.

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) has postponed a decision on whether to allow the construction of a new subsea power cable between Norway and Scotland.

The 1,400MW Project NorthConnect, which is partly owned by Swedish energy group Vattenfall, has been put on hold pending public consultation and performance and cost reviews of similar projects under construction.

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru, said: “The Norwegian and Nordic power system is going through significant changes, at a rapid pace. Two new interconnectors, to the UK and Germany respectively, will be commissioned in the near future.

The NorthConnect web site has some community news from last year.

So has this project been binned?

June 14, 2022 - Posted by | Energy | ,


  1. don’t know that ‘binned’ is the right word, but it’s not going anywhere, as the Norwegian gov is refusing to approve it. See (and the comments underneath) for an excellent discussion of the issues.

    Comment by Peter Robins | June 14, 2022 | Reply

    • It’s the same situation btw with the Icelink with Iceland. The proposal is ready to roll, but the Iceland parliament refuses to approve it, as they don’t think the benefits to Iceland match the costs.

      Comment by Peter Robins | June 15, 2022 | Reply

  2. OFGEM approved it in 2019 under the interconnector regime. They currently have a commission date of 2025 but that’s probably a push now if no contracts have been awarded. Better that NG invest in unlocking the transmission constraints in Scotland which prevent full use being made of the installed wind capacity.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | June 14, 2022 | Reply

  3. I see Ofgem is looking for a Head of Future Interconnection to lead their regulatory team and represent Ofgem at international level

    Comment by Peter Robins | June 26, 2022 | Reply

    • Perhaps, we should apply on a job-share basis!

      Comment by AnonW | June 26, 2022 | Reply

    • Neu Connect UK – Germany has awarded various contracts recently so that one is now under way Mind you as ive said before since Ukraine debacle we are in export mode more often than import these days and our grid is already struggling to move wind from North to South (high levels of production constrained off yesterday partly due to summer outages on the grid) so we need to be careful we don’t end up compensating operators of the i/c’s because they can’t be used as expected.

      Comment by Nicholas Lewis | June 26, 2022 | Reply

      • The Viking Link with Denmark is also under construction. The last I heard the completion date had slipped to 2024, but that will be another 1.4GW. Just looked at the current numbers, and non-fossil sources are supplying 99.2% of current demand. Gas is providing a further 3.65GW, but this is effectively being shipped to France/Belgium/Ireland. There needs to be some serious investment, not only in strengthening the grid, but also in storage and demand management in general.

        Out of interest, where do you get the constraint numbers from? Where are these reported?

        Comment by Peter Robins | June 26, 2022

      • Hi this site hoover up the BMRS/ELEXON datasets and process it for easy consumption.

        They have it listed in the CO2 box towards the bottom.

        You can look through ESO system messages to see whats happening but it runs to 1000’s of messages so you can get an idea by looking at the zonal map on the above where there is potentially excess generation over grid capacity.

        Shame most of the interesting data they produce needs a subscription.

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | June 26, 2022

      • hm, that site seems to be miscalculating the screen size. Even in full screen, the bottom is chopped off and you can’t scroll. A bit better in portrait, but I still have to inspect the element to see the value.

        I can’t find where they’re getting that particular piece of data though. Plenty of sites, inc NGESO, produce CO2 data/estimates, but I can’t find any that include curtailment, for wind or anything else. I’ve waded through BMRS and can’t find it – though there’s so much data in there it would be easy to miss something. NGESO have an api, where you can get the current data for CO2 and generation mix, e.g. is my region. But this doesn’t include curtailment either.

        Comment by Peter Robins | June 27, 2022

      • NGESO’s data portal does have some constraint cost info

        The Times is reporting today that NGESO is working on a scheme for households to be paid this winter for not using power during expected tight supply periods. I wonder if that will also work if you’re away.

        Comment by Peter Robins | June 27, 2022

      • No doubt because ive avoided a smart meter i wont benefit. Mind my energy supplier says its 100% renewable and when I asked them why i don’t get a cheaper rate they said it doesn’t work like that because ststem marginal pricing governs the price which is set by gas. So we spend a fortune on renewables because there cheaper but gas sets the price you couldn’t mske ut up

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | June 27, 2022

      • overhauling elec pricing should be high on the gov’s priority list. Pushing costs onto elec bills is not a good way to encourage people to switch from fossil fuels; it’s also highly regressive, as those who can least afford it are hit hardest.

        There’s plenty of sensible ideas around, but you’ll need a smart meter to benefit.

        Comment by Peter Robins | June 28, 2022

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