Norway to test first power cable to Britain from June 15

OSLO, June 8 (Reuters) - Norway will start testing on June 15 its first power interconnector with Britain, North Sea Link (NSL), Norwegian transmission system operator Statnett said on Tuesday.

The testing of the cable follows the opening last month of Norway’s first direct power link to Germany, the 1,400 MW NordLink interconnector.

Both Germany and Britain aim to benefit from Norway’s vast hydropower resources to help to balance their intermittent wind power, while Norway can import cheap surplus renewable energy to save water in its hydropower reservoirs. Norway’s electricity is almost all hydropower based.

Norway is already connected to the Netherlands via the 700 megawatt (MW) subsea interconnector NordNed and to Denmark through the Skagerrak connection.

The cables have been criticised for potentially leading to higher power prices in Norway.

For the North Sea Link, British and Norwegian grid operators will initially test sending up to 700 megawatt (MW) of electricity both ways, with transmissions increasing to the full capacity of up to 1,450 MW in September, Statnett said.

The 720-kilometre-long North Sea Link connects Kvildall in southern Norway with Blyth in northern England, and is owned by Statnett and National Grid. The interconnector can supply enough power for around 1.4 million UK homes. (Reporting by Nora Buli, editing by Nerijus Adomaitis and Jane Merriman)