Federal Network Agency Issues Exemption for HVDC NorGer Power Line Connecting Germany and Norway

Yesterday, the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), the German grid regulator, issued an exemption permit for the NorGer high-voltage direct current power line. The NorGer line shall provide a new connection between Germany and Norway.

Pursuant Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1228/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity, new direct current interconnectors can be exempted from the requirements regarding the allocation of the revenue resulting from the use of the interconnection access and the access and connection to the transmission systems. Two important conditions for the exemption are that it enhances competition in electricity supply and the level of risk attached to the investment is such that the investment would not take place unless an exemption is granted. In this case the competent authorities for the special permit were the Federal Network Agency in Germany and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in Norway.

The permit was applied for by NorGer KS, a joint enterprise by the Norwegian companies Agder Energi AS, Lyse Produksjon AS, Statnett SF and the Swiss utility Laufenburg AG. The consortium intends to build a 600 km HVDC power line with a capacity of 1,400 MW. The power line shall connect Norway and Germany as of 2015. The capacity shall be made available via the EPEX Spot and Nordpool Spot electricity exchanges.

The President of the Federal Network Agency, Matthias Kurth, pointed out that the decision to grant the exemption was taken in agreement with the German Cartel Office. He said he did not think that the European Commission would exercise its right to raise objections until February 2011, and expected the Commission to support this cross-border project. An  interconnection between Germany and Norway would help balance the intermittency of wind power generation in Germany by connecting the German market with the Norwegian market with its important hydro power electricity generation. Hence, it facilitated the implementation of the government’s recently adopted Energy Concept, Mr Kurth said.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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