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Statnett expect decision on 2 million euros UK cable in Q1

Staff writer |
Norway's grid operator Statnett plans to make a final investment decision in the first quarter on a 1.5-2 billion euro ($1.8- $2.48 billion) project to build the world's longest subsea cable to Britain that will secure power supplies in both countries.

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The Norwegian government gave state-owned Statnett the green light for the project in October and the plan is to have the 700-km long (435 mile) cable across the North Sea by 2020.

"We plan to take the final investment decision jointly with (Britain's) National Grid in the first quarter," Statnett spokesman Christer Gilje said.

"We can't be more precise, because that depends on when we finish negotiations with contractors... and when we get answers on regulations in the UK."

The cable would significantly boost energy security in both countries. Britain would be able to import power from Norway to balance its wind and solar generation, while hydropower-dependent Norway could import power from Britain during dry years.

Questions still remain about British regulations, which would affect the cable's profitability. This includes decisions on the so-called "cap and floor" regime, which guarantees returns in an agreed range, and how the 1,400-megawatt cable could be included in the capacity market, Gilje said.

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