(SCOTLAND)

The European Union will provide €10 million in support to part fund the development phase of the pioneering NorthConnect project to build an electricity superhighway between Scotland and Norway.

The 650km power interconnector will carry power to and from the two countries, and is a first step in integrating Scotland’s electricity network into a pan-European grid.

It won backing from the EU’s funding support programme for infrastructure – Connecting Europe Facility – because it was deemed a Project of Common Interest.

Richard Blanchfield, NorthConnect’s Deputy Project Manager, said: “The decision demonstrates that the European Union considers the NorthConnect Project important to achieving the strategic goals of increasing security of energy supply, and contributing to sustainable development by integrating renewable energy sources across the European Union.”

Tommy Løvstad, NorthConnect’s CEO and Project Manager, added: “This is a huge milestone for the project, everyone on the team is very pleased. We look forward to further co-operation with INEA and the Connecting Europe Facility. Being selected to receive funding from the EU is a very positive boost to the project’s momentum, and will give the project owners important support in the challenging development environment.”

The project is due to start construction in 2019, and programmed to reach completion in 2022.