New Danish-Dutch cable starts up in September

The COBRA cable, a new 325 km transmission cable between Denmark and the Netherlands, will start commercial operations from September 7 this year.

The network of transmission cables between the European countries increases steadily, and now, another cable is set to start operations from the coming autumn. This time, it is the so-called COBRA cable between Denmark and the Netherlands, which according to the two countries’ TSO’s, Energinet.dk and Tennet, will start up on September 7 this year.

The cable, which is 325 km long, goes from Esbjerg to the Dutch city of Eemshaven and has an installed capacity of 700 MW. Testing on the cable will begin on June 26, before commercial operations will begin by early September. The cable is expected to impact the Nordic power market, primarily causing higher prices.

The start-up of the COBRA cable means that the total capacity for export of Nordic electricity southwards has now increased. Since the Netherlands usually have higher power prices than the Nordic countries, the electricity on the new cable will likely flow southwards most of the time. This will especially be the case at times, where the hydrological situation in the Nordic area is strong, and where we see a surplus on the hydro balance. There is, however, also the possibility, that we can see the opposite flow on days, where especially Germany produces a lot of wind and solar power. Here, the COBRA cable can be used to send the electricity northwards, causing lower prices in the Nordic countries, an event which would be very likely in periods with a weak hydrological situation in the Nordic countries.

In total, however, the startup of the cable is expected to cause higher power prices in the Nordic area, and the effects of the cable have already been priced in on the contracts for the end of 2019 and on the contracts for the coming years. Nordic power export is expected to increase further in 2023, when the Viking link between Denmark and England, with an installed capacity of 1400 MW, is planned to start operations.