The Scottish government has given its approval for NorthConnect, a 1.4GW interconnector project connecting Scotland and Norway.
To be constructed with an investment of £1.75bn, the 665km NorthConnect project enables the transfer of electricity both ways between Great Britain and Scandinavia.
NorthConnect CEO Martin Reinholdsson said: “We are extremely pleased to have reached this important milestone in the project. I hope we can conclude on more achievements like this during the year and in 2020 begin building what will prove to be a very important link for the economies of both Scotland and Norway, and also for Britain and the whole Nordic region.”
The high voltage direct current (HVDC) cables for the interconnector project will be connected from an already approved converter station at Stirling Hill, Boddam and will run through underground onshore cables buried under North Sea’s seabed.
The cables will be connected to a similar converter station at Simadalen in Norway. With the marine permitting process now complete in the UK, construction of the interconnector project is expected to begin on schedule.
NorthConnect Scotland development head Richard Blanchfield said: “I am delighted that the NorthConnect Project has successfully completed all of the required UK construction permitting processes on its journey to becoming a reality.
“The interconnector will be able to monitor and respond instantaneously to meet the demands of either energy market and grid stability requirements. Crucially, it will be able to be called upon by National Grid in the event of a ‘black start’ situation, ensuring our lights stay on.
“NorthConnect is looking towards operation in 2023/24 and has already begun the process of finding suitable contractors to deliver this strategically important energy project.”
In 2015, the project received an approval from the Aberdeenshire Council for the onshore infrastructure. The council had approved the application for a converter station and underground cabling.
In February 2017, the European Union (EU) had agreed to provide €10m (£8.45m) financing to part fund the development of the power link between Scotland and Norway.