Ofgem announces second offshore wind tender process

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Ofgem today launched the second tender round for high-voltage transmission links worth around £1.9bn for six offshore wind projects.

Companies will be competing for the right to own and operate the links to 2.8GW of offshore wind farms for the next 20 years.

The first tender round was announced in August this year. Winning tenders for the first £1.1bn of links will be announced next summer.

Speaking at an Ofgem conference for investors and wind farm developers Charles Hendry, minister of state for energy, said: ‘I hope the second round of tendering for owning and operating the links to offshore wind farms will be as successful as the first, where investment interest was four times the necessary level.’

Ofgem’s chief executive, Alistair Buchanan, said: ‘Britain needs to attract £200bn of investment in its energy industry over the next 10 years - £20bn will be for offshore transmission links. Therefore, it is very encouraging that we have seen such strong competition for the first round of transmission links.’

This looks set to continue for the second round and healthy competition will keep the costs of the links as low as possible and give generators confidence that the offshore regime is proving very attractive to investors and is bringing new players into the UK transmission market.’

Tenders for the first three projects, Gwynt-y-Mor, Lincs and London Array, started today.

Tenders for the other three, Humber Gateway, Race Bank and West of Duddon Sands, are expected to start in Spring 2012, once they have met the necessary qualifying requirements.