Everything you didn’t know about submarine export cables

You may not think much about undersea export cables or even know what they are. But as the offshore wind revolution intensifies for Americans in particular, all of the components that carry clean energy from wind turbines to American households will become more familiar. This is where Nexans comes in. The Paris-based global cable company will supply vital undersea export cables to three offshore wind projects in the United States, and these cables will carry electricity to the mainland.

Electrek spoke with Ragnhild Katteland, Executive Vice President of Nexans’ Undersea and Land Systems Business Group and CEO of Nexans Norway, about the major US offshore wind projects the company is part of, which according to what makes the US offshore wind market unique, and what it predicts will happen in the US offshore wind market in 2023.

Electrek: What is Nexans doing and what is its current role in the offshore wind revolution in the United States?

Ragnhild Katteland: Nexans designs, manufactures and installs subsea export cable systems for offshore wind farms. We believe offshore wind is one of the most effective solutions to overcome the challenges of climate change. Nexans manufactures and delivers cables from the only high voltage submarine cable manufacturing facility in the United States.

Electrek: Where are the American projects in which Nexans is taking part?

Ragnhild Katteland: Nexans has so far signed three contracts for the American market. The first and second projects are Southfork Wind Farm and Revolution Wind, both developed by Orsted and Eversource. Cables are currently manufactured in our South Carolina facility, the only such facility on US soil. Empire Wind, developed by Equinor and BP, is another project for which we will provide a complete turnkey export cable system solution, and we have other projects on the East Coast in the pipeline.

Electrek: According to Nexans, what will happen to the US offshore wind market in 2023?

Ragnhild Katteland: With the start of construction of key offshore wind farms in the northeast and other projects reaching different stages and being finalized across the country, 2023 will be a ramp-up year for offshore wind growth. , and we are excited to be part of this important journey for what the future holds from now until 2030.

Electrek: Tell me three facts everyone should know about submarine export cables.

Ragnhild Katteland: First, without submarine export cables, there would be no electricity delivered to the onshore grid and consumers.

Second, they are available in a variety of types, sizes and voltage levels such as AC and DC cables, and are custom made for each offshore wind farm.

Third, subsea interconnectors are another crucial piece of power infrastructure and help deliver sustainable electricity from areas with high generation potential to areas with high demand.

Read more: World’s longest submarine cable will send clean energy from Morocco to UK

Photos: Nexans


Since joining Nexans (formerly Alcatel) in 1993, Ragnhild Kattleland has held various management positions in engineering, sales, purchasing and project management. Since March 2018, she has been Vice President of the Business Group Subsea & Land Systems and CEO of Nexans Norway, since September 2019.


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