The £42,600 subsea electricity cable will be examined as part of a study into a planned new North Sea interconnector, Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond announced.

SSE Interconnector, a subsidiary of Scottish and Southern Energy, yesterday signed a partnership agreement with three Norwegian utilities, Adger Energi, E-Co Energi and Lyse, and Sweden’s Vattenfall to examine the feasibility of building the link between the UK and Norway.

Mr Salmond explained that while a number of options were being explored, there is a ‘technical preference’ for the shortest route, which would mean a landing point in the north east of Scotland.

The announcement was made as Mr Salmond spoke to the Scottish Renewables-Scottish Enterprise offshore wind conference in Aberdeen yesterday (February 2).

He said: “I am delighted to announce the signing today of an agreement between Scottish and Southern Energy and leading Norwegian and Swedish energy companies to work towards the building of an electricity interconnector carrying power to and from Scandinavia, with North East Scotland being well placed to be the obvious choice.

“The agreement represents a major early step towards the integration of Scotland’s electricity network into a pan-European grid.

“That is why I am also pleased to confirm the support of the Scottish European Green Energy Centre which will contribute €50,000 to the project’s route survey.”

SSE chief executive, Ian Marchant, said: “Increasing interconnection between networks is likely to be an important feature of the electricity industry in Europe as the drive to maximise supplies of secure, low carbon sources of energy increases over the next two decades.

“Scotland and Norway have rich and diverse natural resources from which to produce large amounts of electricity, and an interconnector could allow the potential of those complementary resources to be fulfilled by meeting the needs of customers across north west Europe.”

Luke Walsh

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