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.
KIRKENES: Warmer temperatures at the bottom of the Barents Sea are of big concern to ecologists in the High North. Certain marine species are disappearing from the ecosystem while others are increasing in number. The impact on Russia’s fisheries sector is crucial.
Industrialists in Finland eye the opening of a major trade and transport route with a projected railway connection to the Norwegian Arctic coast. Former PM Paavo Lipponen has been hired to get the Norwegians onboard.
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.
Thousands of people in Norway have lived with a secret for almost 70 years. German war children in the High North are an important voice in remembering the liberation of Finnmark and a poignant lesson in history about misdirected anger and the damage it can cause.
The autumn of 1944 large parts of Finnmark and northern Troms were burnt and destroyed by Nazi German forces retreating from onrushing Soviet troops. The civilian population was forced to evacuate or hide.