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Britain and Norway are now connected by a giant wire under the North Sea that will allow them to swap British wind power for Norwegian hydro power.

The wire, which was switched on two days ago (1st Oct) is believed to be the the world's longest undersea power connection, stretching 450 miles from Blyth, Northumberland, to Kvilldall, a small village in south-western Norway. This means the national grids of the two non-EU nations are now interconnected. 

It will initially have a maximum capacity of 700 megawatts (MW) which will be gradually increased to reach 1,400 MW in about three months' time.

The UK's National Grid, which operates the interconnector in a joint venture with Norway's Statnett system operator, said in a statement that once at full capacity, the North Sea Link should provide enough clean electricity to power 1.4 million homes.

When wind generation in the UK will be high but energy demand low, extra renewable power will be exported from the UK to Norway and conserve water in Norway's reservoirs, according to the statement. However, when demand is high in the UK but wind generation is low, hydropower from Norway will be imported

National Grid, btw, is not a national entity as its name disingenuously suggests. It is in fact a private company that is
owned mainly by other private companies, most of them foreign. 

Here are the top ten shareholders:

statement on the company's site said the project cost 1.6 billion Euros (£1.37 billion).

It is not known how much in government grants or tax breaks they got, although I would guess the amount would be pretty high, simply based on the all the "green" signalling that is being done with this project.

Cordi O'Hara, President of National Grid Ventures:

"This is an exciting day for National Grid and an important step as we look to diversify and decarbonise the UK's electricity supply. North Sea Link is a truly remarkable feat of engineering. We had to go through mountains, fjords and across the North Sea to make this happen. But as we look forward to COP26, Noth Sea Link is also a great example of two countries working together to maximise renewable energy resources for mutual benefit."

So, how thick is this cable? The photographic evidence suggests that it is about as thick as a Welshman's cock.

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