Energy minister Tord Lien has granted transmission operator Statnett the licenses to install the cables.
Statnett will partner Nordseekabel - a 50:50 joint venture between German bank KfW and grid specialist Tennet — for the Nord.Link project to Germany. The 500 kilometre cable will be connected from Tonstad in southern Norway to Wilster in northern Germany.
In the UK, grid operator the National Grid will work with Statnett on the North Sea Network (NSN), linking Norway and the UK with a 700-kilometre cable. It is planned to be connected from Kvilldal in south-west Norway to Blyth in north-east England.
The lines will each have a 1.4GW capacity, the ministry said, and will increase the country's interconnection capacity by 50%.
Commissioning of the Nord.Link cable is expected in 2018, and the NSN should be completed in 2020.