OFGEM Grants Transmission Owner Licence for Gunfleet Sands and Starts Tender for Lincs Wind Farm (UK)

Ofgem E Serve has today announced that TC Gunfleet Sands OFTO Limited (Transmission Capital Partners) has secured a licence to operate the high voltage link to the Gunfleet Sands wind farm.

TC Gunfleet Sands OFTO Limited can now operate the £49.5 million link to the onshore grid for a period of 20 years. The wind farm, located 7 km off Clacton-on-Sea, has a total capacity of 172 MW. As part of the licence grant process, the link has been transferred to TC Gunfleet Sands OFTO Limited from Dong Energy, owner of the wind farm.

The acquisition results from the competitive tendering for offshore links under the Offshore Transmission Owner (OFTO) regime, run by Ofgem. This is the second licence which Ofgem has awarded under the regime. The first – also awarded to Transmission Capital Partners – was for the £65 million link to the Robin Rigg wind farm. The OFTO regime has now delivered over £100m of finance from new sources of funding into the UK offshore wind sector. This is an important milestone that signals confidence in the new regime, and delivers savings that help to lower the costs of delivering energy from renewable sources.

Gunfleet Sands was part of the first transitional tender round comprising £1.1 billion of offshore transmission links to nine offshore wind farms. The tender round attracted almost £4 billion of investment appetite and Ofgem E Serve expects to conclude the grant of licences for the other links in the first round over the coming year.

The second transitional tender round has four short-listed bidders competing for the first three projects to link another 1.4 GW of offshore wind farms with a total value of £1bn. The invitation to tender process for one of these projects – the £281.6m Lincs wind farm – began on 18th July. Ofgem E Serve anticipates announcing a preferred bidder by the end of the year.

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Source: ofgem, July 19, 2011;

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