The Anonymous Widower

The Monster In The Mountains That Could Save Europe’s Winter


Ulla-Førre is a complex of five hydroelectric power stations and a massive lake in the Norwegian mountains to the East of Stavanger.

  • The power stations have a total generating capacity of 2.1 GW.
  • Lake Blåsjø is able to hold enough water to generate 7800 GWh of electricity.
  • The complex is at the Norwegian end of the North Sea Link to Blyth in England.

This YouTube video from Statkraft, explains how Ulla-Førre was built.

I have some further explanation and thoughts.

What Is The Operating Philosophy Of The North Sea Link?

This press release from National Grid says this.

The Norwegian power generation is sourced from hydropower plants connected to large reservoirs, which can respond faster to fluctuations in demand compared to other major generation technologies. However, as the water level in reservoirs is subject to weather conditions, production varies throughout seasons and years.

When wind generation is high and electricity demand low in Britain, NSL will enable renewable power to be exported from the UK, conserving water in Norway’s reservoirs. When demand is high in Britain and there is low wind generation, hydro power can be imported from Norway, helping to ensure secure, affordable and sustainable electricity supplies for UK consumers.

It almost seems to me, that the North Sea Link is part of a massive pumped-storage system, where we can bank some of our wind-generated electricity in Norway and draw it out when we need it.

Suppose There Is No Wind In The UK And Norway’s Giant Reservoirs Need Filling?

We could always throw on a substitute, which is the 1,185 MW Hartlepool nuclear power station.

But over the next few years these wind farms will be connected to the North-East.

  • Sofia wind farm should commission the 1.4 GW Phase 1, which connects to Teesside in 2023.
  • Dogger Bank wind farm should commission 3.6 GW, which connects to Teesside and Humberside in 2025.
  • The 4.1 GW Berwick Bank wind farm will have a second connection to Blyth by 2030. Say 2 GW!

There’s more than enough wind there to fill up Norway’s reservoirs and replace Hartlepool nuclear station.

Will Ulla-Førre Be Expanded?

It does sound to me that the video does imply that Ulla-Førre will be expanded.


October 8, 2022 - Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , ,


  1. […] I have written more about Ulla-Førre in The Monster In The Mountains That Could Save Europe’s Winter. […]

    Pingback by Will Norwegian Pumped Storage Hydro Help Us Through The Winter? « The Anonymous Widower | October 8, 2022 | Reply

  2. […] The Monster In The Mountains That Could Save Europe’s Winter, I describe what makes the North Sea Link so […]

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