The “Pechenga energy brigde” will connect the power systems of Russia and Norway and includes construction of a new 132 kV double circuit transmission between the Russian town Nikel and Skogfoss on the Norwegian side of the border. In addition, several lines and substations on the Russian side will be upgraded and modernized, Alexey Molsky of the Federal Grid Company said last week at an international conference on development of the electricity market and strengthening of electricity grid in the High North.
The project has a 9 billion rubles (€182 million) price tag, the company says in a press release.
The Norwegian grid operator Statnett is nearly finished building a 132 kV line between Skogfoss and Varangerbotn. “The new line will give better capacity and security of supply and make more energy exchange with Russia possible”, the company’s web site reads.
In 2011 Statnett wanted to cooperate with Russia on building an electricity line from the Kola Peninsula to Norway through Skogfoss, but was stopped by the Norwegian Ministry of Oil and Energy, who argued that import of electricity from Russia’s north would prolong the life time of the oldest reactors at Kola Nuclear Power Plant, BarentsObserver reported.
Russia and Norway are members of BASREC – the Baltic Sea Region Energy Cooperation. The organization was founded in 1998 by the ministers for energy of the region and the European Commission. The other members are Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and the European Commission.
Microsoft bought Nokia’s mobile division this past spring, and thousands of employees in Finland have been laid off. Oulu, a northern tech hub, was particularly hard hit, but new opportunities in new industries are springing up in the resilient northern community.
Poland has noticeably increased its activity in Arctic affairs in recent years. Next year the Arctic Council observer state will launch a program aimed at attracting more Polish companies to the north.
With some of the most beautiful of Norwegian, Russian and Latvian orchestra music on the repertoire, Arkhangelsk State Chamber Orchestra and the Norwegian saxophonist Ola Asdahl Rokkones are ready for a tour through Norway and Russia.
Photographer Cristian Barnett traveled around the Arctic Circle, capturing life at 66° 33′ 44″ N. The result is his new book and traveling exhibition, Life on the Line. BarentsObserver spoke with Barnett about his impressions of life on the Circle and the decisions he made to capture it.
It takes a village…to move a city? An entire Arctic town is being forced to relocate after the world’s largest iron ore mine got the green light to gobble up the land under the city. The lead architect for the operation talks about how the people of Kiruna have had to come together to create a new home.