NorthConnect is one of the highest-rated projects in Europe for socio-economic welfare, CO2 reduction, and the integration of renewable energy sources, and it has just been approved by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM). With NorthConnect, the construction of a 650 kilometre underwater power cable with the capacity of 1.4 GW to provide hydropower energy from Norway to Scotland would soon be underway. The 1.4 GW denotes around 25% of Scotland’s peak energy expenditure.
The interconnector for the hydropower is expected to begin operation in 2022, and the construction is estimated to cost about approximately £1.48 billion.
The European Commission regards NorthConnect as a priority project based on welfare, energy market integration, and environmental impact. NorthConnect, having all three features, was naturally rated highest among the list drawn up by the Commission.
“This major investment is an opportunity for the North East economy,” said Richard Blanchfield, the UK Project Manager for NorthConnect. “It will help keep the lights on in Scotland, press down on household electricity bills, and allow the green powerhouses of Scotland and Scandinavia to deliver their low carbon potential. NorthConnect is also an important European project as it has been designated as a project of common interest and is being considered for Electricity Highway status.”
Unlike solar panels and wind farms, hydropower equipment requires specialized design features built to withstand the constant pressure from the water and any external factors, which may damage it. Sulzer, a long-time partner of Unaoil, an oil and gas firm that provides industrial solutions to the energy sector in the Middle East, Africa, and Middle East, says that a good hydro generator design tool must allow the generator’s performance to be improved by the winding geometry and insulation materials in order for the machine to give an increased output and improved efficiency.