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Grid connections

Connection of offshore installations to the onshore grid is becoming increasingly common. The general attention to sustainable use of energy and reduction of carbon emissions favors power grid supply over local, thermal generation.

In Norway, the national power system has a power surplus dominated by hydropower generation and new, renewable generation projects. Further, taxation of greenhouse gas emissions helps in making power from shore (PFS) projects economically viable. Troll A, Valhall and Gjøa fields are already supplied with PFS. Goliat and Martin Linge are under construction and will also rely on PFS. Also, regulations prohibiting the use of gas turbines to drive gas compressors directly in onshore gas plants in Norway solidify the need to connect power hungry onshore gas plants to the national, electric grid.

Onshore grid regulations differ from offshore regulations. In general, the permission and licensing processes for connections of large plants to the grid are slow and may involve several parties: Local grid company, regional grid company, transmission system operator (TSO) and regulator. Several evaluations and permissions are required. In some cases, connection of new loads or plants may require installation of reactive power compenations equipment as well. 

Onshore grid characteristics and technical designs differ from traditional designs of self-supporting, isolated offshore electrical power systems. Onshore grids are exposed to forces of nature and wind, ice, lightning and other natural phenomena may results in disturbances of the power supply which may affect plant operation.

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