Norway TSO slept through lecture, failed to protest German transmission cap

Stattnet calls the minimum limit on the Germany-Norway interconnector "disappointing", but the Norwegian TSO has itself at least partially to thank for the result. Norway's energy ministry, sector lobby Energy Norway and the Norwegian Energy Regulatory Authority also forgot to object.

Nordlink is owned by Statnett and Tennet. Photo: Tennet

When the 1,400 MW Norwegian-German interconnector, Nordlink, commissions next year, the cable will feature a modest minimum transmission capacity of 11.7 percent, only to hit the legally required 70 percent in 2025.

The vulnerable German electrical network is reportedly the reason for the limit, but on the Norwegian end, transmission system operator Stattnet nonetheless declared itself to be "fundamentally disappointed" about the low capacity last week.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian TSO can in part thank itself for the outcome. When the window of opportunity presented itself at a public hearing to voice concerns about the German proposal, both the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and trade association Energy Norway failed to say anything on the matter, reports Norwegian business media Montel.

"Before Germany presented the plan, detailing compliance measures in regard to the EU requirement of offering at least 70 percent transmission capacity for transnational interconnectors, they completed a short public hearing process and meeting. Due to carelessness, we forfeited that chance and didn't submit an objection," says Erlend Jordal, political advisor at the Norwegian energy ministry, to Montel.

However, he also underscores that German authorities were aware of the Scandinavian country's position, despite the absence of an official statement due the contact's bilateral status.

Energy Norway also slept through the lecture and says it was simply unaware of public hearings having taken place.

"We didn't send a reply to the hearing. We knew that a process was taking place concerning the formulation and evaluation of action plans, but we were ignorant of the German plan's content and that a hearing was taking place. This case shows the importance of Norwegian authorities, Stattnet and the industry upholding close dialog about upcoming issues and what is in Norway's interests," says Head of Energy Norway's Department for Market, Electrification and Customers Toini Løvseth to the media.

The Norwegian Energy Regulatory Authority (NVE-RME) also failed to address the issue through a hearing reply.

English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen

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