Plans to link Scotland and Norway with an underwater electricity cable will be examined in a new study.
First Minister Alex Salmond said a number of UK sites are under consideration but hopes the shortest route to the north-east will become the main landing point.
He announced a partnership agreement between Scandinavian utilities companies and SSE Interconnector, a subsidiary of Scottish and Southern Energy, during an offshore wind conference in Aberdeen.
Mr Salmond said the north-east is the "obvious choice", adding: "Today's agreement represents a major early step towards the integration of Scotland's electricity network into a pan-European grid."
He said the study will be supported by 50,000 euro (£42,500) from the Scottish European Green Energy Centre.