Dutch, Danish Grids to Build Subsea Power Cable
Dutch power grid operator TenneT and Danish counterpart Energinet.dk will invest over 600 million euros in a new subsea cable that will connect the two countries electricity networks, TenneT said in a statement.
The new direct-current interconnector - called the COBRAcable (for COpenhagen BRussels Amsterdam) - will be over 300 km long and will have transmission capacity of about 700 megawatts (MW) - as much as a small nuclear power plant.
The European Commission is supporting the project with a 86.5 million euro subsidy as it can be integrated into a future offshore electricity grid in the North Sea, will promote competition in the electricity market, and will contribute to the integration of large volumes of wind energy in the electricity grid.
The cable - which will run from Dutch Eemshaven to Endrup - will also boost security of supply in both countries.
TenneT and Energinet.dk will put the project out to tender and expect to award contracts in late 2015. Construction will start in 2016 and should be completed early in 2019.
Leading submarine direct-current cable and related equipment manufacturers include Italy's Prysmian, Swiss ABB , Germany's Siemens and France's Nexans and Alstom.
In 2008, TenneT completed the 580 km, 700 MW NorNed cable between the Netherlands and Norway, and in 2011 the 260 km, 1,000 MW BritNed cable from the Netherlands to the UK.
The fast growth of intermittent renewables energies like wind and solar increases the need for better interconnections between countries, and grid operators across Europe are investing in new cross-border lines. Scandinavia, which has ample hydropower as well as wind, in particular is boosting connections with the rest of Europe.
Later this year, TenneT will decide whether to go ahead with the 1,400 MW NordLink subsea cable between Germany and Norway.
Energinet.dk operates subsea cables to Norway, Sweden and Germany, and is building - with Norway's Statnett - the 700 MW Skagerrak-4 subsea cable to Norway.
Scheduled to be operational in December this year, Skagerrak-4 will be the fourth subsea cable between the two countries and will increase the total capacity between Norway and Denmark, from 1 000 MW to 1 700 MW.
The new cable will be able to transport energy corresponding to half of Oslo's annual energy consumption, Statnett said on its website.
A new cable between Denmark and Germany - which will also serve as the grid connection for the Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm - is scheduled to be operational by 2020, while Energinet.dk and British National Grid are examining the possibilities for a cable between Denmark and the UK.
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)