Five European energy companies this month announced a joint-venture agreement to develop and build an electricity link under the North Sea between the U.K. and Norway. The NorthConnect joint venture aims to have the 1,200-MW to 2,000-MW power cable operational by 2020. The total length of the high-voltage, direct-current interconnector could measure from 350 miles to more than 400 miles, depending on the choice of the landing points. For the shortest link, Scotland is likely to be the preferred U.K. landfall, though other options will be studied during the next 12 to 18 months. The non-profit Scottish European Green Energy
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.