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Norway depends on new power grid

Statnett has presented its 2010 Grid Development Plan, and is proposing to invest a total of NOK 40 billion in developing and upgrading a new power grid in Norway in the period leading up to 2020.

”These investments are vital for future value creation across Norway, to our commitment to new renewable energy and to be able to equalise differences in electricity prices,” says Auke Lont, President and CEO of Statnett. The Grid Development Plan is Statnett’s most important planning tool for main grid developments in the years ahead.

”Our planned investments will improve security of supply and pave the way for a commitment to renewable energy and value creation across Norway. In the last 15 years we have experienced increasing use of the existing power grid. To be able to meet a continuously increasing need for grid capacity, we now have to either construct a new power grid or upgrade the current grid from 300 kV to 420 kV,” says Lont.

The largest investments will have to be made in Northern and Central Norway.

A transmission interconnector from Ørskog in Sunnmøre to Fardal in Indre Sogn and a 420 kV line from Ofoten to Balsfjord continuing to Hammerfest are two of the major development projects Statnett will embark on in Norway over the next few years. Lont emphasises that the development plans are necessary for local business development and will pave the way for value creation across the country.

”Central Norway has seen particularly high electricity prices. The planned developments in Central Norway will remove the bottlenecks that have contributed to high electricity prices in the region during peak consumption periods. Once the bottlenecks have been removed, the price differences will be evened out, and we will see more equal prices throughout the country. This will improve the competitiveness of businesses in Central Norway,” says Lont.

Electricity supply to Goliat and Snøhvit from land is dependent on the planned grid investments in the counties of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark. Moreover, the developments are necessary for renewable energy commitments such as wind and hydropower.

”Without these investments it would not be possible to make use of the pure energy available in different parts of Norway," Lont says.

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