Norwegian transmission operator Statnett and its UK counterpart National Grid plan to have an electricity interconnector between the two countries up and running by 2020.

The interconnector will have a capacity of up to 1400 MW and at 700km would be the world’s longest subsea power cable.

Following three years of joint feasibility and development work, Statnett and National Grid yesterday signed an agreement to push ahead with plans for the submarine interconnector and secure its investment.

The two companies are carrying out a joint seabed survey along the planned route and will focus on obtaining the necessary regulatory and environmental agreements and concessions as well as buying some 700 km of cable and two converter stations.

A key milestone will be the submittal of the Norwegian Trade Concession Application to the Norwegian Ministry in the first half of 2013.

National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday said: “This is a huge and innovative project. It will use state of the art technology to create the longest interconnector in the world and would link Norway’s flexible, clean hydro power into the UK market to strengthen energy supplies for both countries.

His counterpart at Statnett, Auke Lont, added: “The interconnector will mark a substantial technological achievement and the agreement provides a strong signal that our companies remain committed to deliver on common ambitions for a North-European power network.”