NorthConnect is a project company owned by four partners in Norway, and Sweden. Our directive is to plan, build and operate an HVDC interconnector between Norway and the UK. The co-operation agreement between the four partners, Agder Energi, E-CO, Lyse and Vattenfall AB was signed on February 1. 2011.
NorthConnect has investigated the inclusion of a repeaterless fibre-optic data cable in the project, and initial findings show it will be technically feasible and very cost-effective when combined with the power cable design, manufacture and subsea installation. The commercial aspects are being examined further, but NorthConnect has a unique geographic advantage where it meets the Norwegian and UK coastlines, crossing strong, existing fibre-optic links very close to the world class oil and gas centres of both Stavanger and Aberdeen. This will also provide a significant opportunity to Norway for the development of data-centres in the Rogaland region.
NorthConnect this week received the interconnector operating license from Ofgem. The project is now preparing for an application to the regulator for a financial arrangement which governs revenues on the 650km interconnector, known as “cap and floor". The NorthConnect partners strongly feel that the project offers good value to the UK consumer and once built would help forge a strong complementary industrial relationship between Scotland’s world class wind sector and Norway’s hydro capacity. On the Scottish side of the project, the development team is now preparing a planning application for subsea infrastructure works and near shore connections on the Aberdeenshire coast. These offshore works, if consented by Scottish Ministers, would hook up with the already consented onshore electricity converter station near Boddam and Longhaven. The NorthConnect consortium is also assessing the feasibility of laying a fibre optic broadband link, alongside the power cable, to connect the north east of Scotland and Norway. If realized the data cable would connect two world class oil and gas centres and potentially enable investment in new data and cloud storage facilities either side of the North Sea, further enhancing Scotland's connectivity with mainland Europe.
NorthConnect has been included in the EU's 10 Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) 2014 and ranked among the most important projects with PCI (Project of Common Interest) status for Socio-Economic Welfare, CO2 Reduction and Integration of Renewables across Europe.