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Technical fault will delay ramp-up of new Norway-Britain power cable's capacity

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OSLO (Reuters) - The new North Sea Link (NSL) power cable connecting Britain with Norway will operate at half its 1,400 megawatt (MW) capacity until Feb. 14 due to a fault on the British side, Norwegian operator Statnett said late on Monday.

The cable, which is co-owned by Britain's National Grid and Statnett, started trial operations at 700 MW on Oct. 1, and had been planned to move to full capacity at the start of January.

"During the trial operations phase, a fault has been detected in one of the converters at the UK end, which has resulted in reduced capacity of 700 MW being maintained while investigations have been ongoing," Statnett said in a statement.

From mid-February capacity will be made available at 1,050 MW, it added.

The cable's full capacity is 1,400 MW, enough to power around 1.4 million homes, and is intended to provide Britain access to Norway's hydropower resources to help balance intermittent wind power, while Norway can import power during times of high wind to save water in reservoirs.

"As a result of corrective actions being taken, trial operations will likely continue into Q2 2022," Statnett said.

(Reporting by Nora Buli, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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