Because hydropower generation volumes have been exceptionally high in the Nordic countries, inexpensive hydropower has increased the need to transmit electricity. However, the transmission capacity of the power grid has restricted the transmission options, leading to separate price areas and considerable differences in the prices of electricity on the power exchange. The transmission restrictions have had a longer duration than normally.
A task force has been investigating the options to develop the transmission capacity over a short term. The biggest problems exist in Norway and Sweden. The task force suggests measures through which the transmission capacity between Norway and Sweden could be boosted from the present 3,000 megawatts to 3,500 - 4,000 megawatts. The estimated costs of the related projects are FIM 300 to 350 million, and their implementation will commence next year.
The task force is made up of the main grid operators carrying responsibility for the respective power systems: Statnett SF in Norway, Svenska Kraftnät in Sweden and Fingrid Oyj in Finland. The task force suggests several measures through which the transmission capacity between Norway and Sweden can be developed:
The Skagerrak cables between Norway and Jutland are to be opened for normal trading as of the beginning of 2001. The use of these cables facilitates transmissions on the so-called Hasle corridor between southern Norway and southern Sweden.
The capacity of transmission lines is to be boosted by developing grid protection. As a result of this, generation will be automatically disconnected in Norway or consumption will be disconnected in Sweden in the event of outages.
Transfer to flexible transmission limits. The prevailing operating situation and probability of outages should be taken into account better than now.
Transmission connections between central Norway and central Sweden are to be reinforced. This also calls for reinforced transmission connections within both Norway and Sweden. The stability of the power grid is to be enhanced by increasing the compensation of reactive power.
The objective is to launch the projects swiftly and to take them into account in investment decisions in 2001. The task force further proposes that the need for transmission capacity between the countries over a long period of time also needs to be examined. The preliminary analyses of the task force suggest that a new, heavier electricity transmission connection between Norway and Sweden may be required. In practice, this means a line from Norway to the Skåne area in Sweden.