The UK’s National Grid and Norwegian grid firm Statnett say that the development of an interconnector between the two countries will bring wide-ranging economic benefits.

The two companies have signed a co-operation agreement to continue work on the planning of the proposed interconnector, which would be the longest subsea interconnector in the world.

The NSN interconnector would have a capacity of 1400 MW and would be the first electricity link between the UK and Norway. It would not only contribute to further integration of the north European power markets, but also strengthen the region’s electricity grid.

"This is another important stage in the development of what will be the world’s longest subsea interconnector," said Auke Lont, Statnett CEO. "Joining of the energy systems of both countries will bring much wider benefits – delivering secure and affordable power to consumers as Europe moves towards integrating its renewable energy."

Statnett says that it is ready to submit the licence application for the project to Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

The interconnector would cost €1.5-2 billion, split equally between the two grid companies. Statnett and National Grid said in a statement that they will now focus on obtaining the necessary regulatory and environmental agreements as well as prepare for the procurement of cable and converter stations.

An investment decision will be taken in 2014, says National Grid.