Following strong competition for the first tender to run transmission connections to offshore wind farms in the UK, Ofgem E-Serve has shortlisted firms for each of the first nine projects. In total, the links will connect up to 2,000MW of renewable electricity.
Ofgem said that the first phase of the competition was characterised by strong competition between new entrants and existing network companies that are competing to build transmission connections to the Barrow, Greater Gabbard, Gunfleet Sands, Ormonde, Robin Rigg, Sheringham Shoal, Thanet and both the Walney 1 and 2 wind farms.
The nine firms on the shortlist are Balfour Beatty Capital Ltd (BBCL), DONG Energy Sales and Distribution (DESD), Green Energy Transmission (a consortium of Equitix and AMP Capital Investors) (GET), Macquarie Capital Group Ltd (MCGL), National Grid Offshore Ltd (NGOL) and Transmission Capital Partners (a consortium of Transmission Capital, International Public Partnerships and Amber Infrastructure Group) (TCP).
Ofgem’s chief executive Alistair Buchanan said: ‘The strong competition for the first round of transmission links demonstrates the value of attracting new entrants and shows that firms have confidence in the tendering process and are willing to make a substantial investment. This is vital if the £15bn needed to connect the government’s target of 33GW of offshore wind is to be raised in these difficult financial circumstances.’
The companies that are ultimately successful in May 2010 will take ownership of the transmission links once they are constructed.
They will then run the links and in return will receive a stable, regulated income for 20 years.